Two-time Olympian Lauren Wells has barely been over a hurdle in almost five months but she showed no signs of rust to break what is believed to be a 46-year Australian record.
Wells wasshocked after her 200 metre hurdles race at the AIS on Saturday, clocking a time of 25.79 seconds in her first hurdles event since the Rio Olympic Games.
Her time sent officials scrambling to check record books for the event and they found Pam Kilborn-Ryan - a two-time Olympic medallist - set the previous record of 25.7 seconds in 1971.
However, because Kilborn-Ryan's 25.7 seconds was timed by hand, officials usually add 0.14 seconds to the recorded time.
If Wells' electronically-timed mark is ratified, she will have just beaten Kilborn-Ryan's adjusted time of 25.84 seconds.
"It's a bit unexpected ... I haven't even been going over any hurdles, we've been concentrating on my flat speed," Wells said.
"I honestly didn't think I would run under 26 seconds so to have done that and hopefully set an Australian record is pretty exciting.
"It's not an event I usually do so there was that novelty factor to it a bit, but it's still relevant and it's nice to be able to come out and run a [personal-best time]."
Wells has been working with coach Matt Beckenham to improve her technique and reset her goals after making it to the Olympic semi-finals in August.
She has limited her hurdles training sessions since the Rio Games to focus on flat speed before ramping up hurdle practice.
"I wanted to have a break and come back when I was feeling refreshed and mentally," Wells said.
"So I thought running the 200 metre hurdles was a good way to ease back into it. I'll run another 200 metre [flat race] on Sunday and right up until the nationals, I want to run as many PBs as I can this season."
Wells' stablemate Melissa Breen also made her racing comeback on Saturday with a blistering time of 10.59 seconds in a 100-yard dash at the Athletics ACT meet.
It was Breen's first race since competing in the 100 metres at the Olympics and her time was believed to be the third quickest 100-yard race in Australia.
Breen and Beckenham have been tinkering with her sprint style, changing her starting block technique to search for small changes to increase speed.
"We'll run in Canberra for the next month or so ... Mel had a long break [after Rio] and we've just been playing around with changing things again," Beckenham said.
"We're just trying to break some habits that were creeping in and getting a better drive-angle. It seems to be opening some avenues so it's working OK at the moment."