She may not travel to Tokyo this year, but that didn’t stop Genevieve Gregson from doing anything remarkable in 2020.
Gregson – a medium-distance runner who normally participates in 3000m steeplechase and 1500m races – represented Australia at London 2012 and Rio 2016 and finished fifth at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games 2018.
After the Australian Olympic Committee announced on Monday that it would not send a team to Tokyo this year, it became clear that Gregson had to wait another twelve months to take part in their third Olympic Games.
But less than 24 hours later, the 30-year-old broke the women’s record for the fastest time on Melbourne’s beautiful tan trail in Botanic Gardens, which was set up in 2006 by Olympian Sarah Jamieson.
Gregson ran the 3.827 km route in 11 minutes and 54 seconds – three seconds faster than Jamieson.
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Marathon runner Sinead Diver, who finished fifth in the 2019 New York Marathon, also tried to break the record, but finished 20 seconds behind Gregson.
“Olympic athletes or any type of athlete are goal-oriented and strive for things that lie ahead. It’s like chasing a carrot, “said Gregson, Australia’s team captain at last year’s World Championships.
“And if the biggest thing you have been looking forward to for four years dangles for a while … and then is completely taken away for the time being, it is really difficult.
“It’s really cool to finish a time faster than Sarah Jamieson, and it’s like my little Olympic exams.”
Gregson was disappointed to learn that the Olympics should be suspended for 12 months because she felt in the best shape she had in years after finally shaking a number of injuries. However, he tried to stay positive.
“The first feeling for me was frustration … but my goal is to get this ball rolling slowly,” said Gregson.
“If the worst thing is that I have to wait 52 weeks longer for the Olympic Games than I’m definitely fine.
“I will definitely be there next year, it won’t slow me down.”
Australia’s best athletes should be in Sydney for the national championships this week, but the event was canceled due to the outbreak of the corona virus.