Commonwealth Games double act for Lauren Wells hinges on five-minute break between finals
Lauren Wells will compete in the 400 hurdles and the long jump. (ABC Canberra: Hannah Walmsley)
Lauren Wells could have just five minutes between finals in two separate events at next month’s Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast.
The two-time Olympic 400m hurdler was selected for the hurdles as well as the long jump after scratching an itch that had long been playing on her mind.
“I really just needed to satisfy curiosity with the long jump,” the 29-year old said.
“I’ve always been bugging my coach to let me have another go in the pit.
“It’s been a long time since I long-jumped and I had some success as a junior but focused instead on the 400 hurdles as a senior athlete.
“Because I already had a qualifier for the hurdles going into the Commonwealth Games this year, we figured it was a good chance to go back and satisfy that curiosity.”
The 29-year-old is confident her preparation for the 400 hurdles has her in contention for a medal. (David Tarbotton, Athletics Australia)
‘Impossible’ task ahead
At the national championships last month Wells tested her capacity to compete in both events on the same night.
“We had three rounds of the 400 hurdles including a heat, a semi and a final,” she said.
“Mixed in with that I had the qualifying round for the long jump and the final.”
The difference was that Wells had 80 minutes to refocus after winning her 11th national hurdles title before turning her attention to the long jump.
“That was do-able,” she said.
“But just five minutes between both finals at the Games is just about impossible.”
Wells has been “bugging” coach Matt Beckenham to let her compete in the long jump. (ABC Canberra: Hannah Walmsley)
In what Wells described as “an ongoing discussion,” she and coach Matt Beckenham have been lobbying to have the competition schedule adjusted.
“We’re in discussion with the right people,” she said.
And while she’s hopeful organisers will make “even a slight adjustment,” Wells’s priority is clear.
“The hurdles will be first and that’s the main priority for me; it’s always been the hurdles,” she said.
“After that, I’ll get out there on the runway in the long jump and let it fly.
“Whatever happens there is a bonus.”
Beckenham said Wells’s training hadn’t changed much to cater for the long jump.
“We try to do one jumps session each week or at least every fortnight,” he said.
“We’ve taken the less-is-more approach.”