Golden girl gets back to business
ALEXANDRA Headland pole vaulter Alana Boyd is still aiming to be a force at next month’s world championships despite her injury-riddled build-up.
Three months after undergoing knee surgery, Boyd will this weekend have a testing hitout at the Heusden-Zolder KBC Night Athletics meet in Belgium.
It will be the first in a series of competitions for Boyd in the lead-up to the IAAF World Championships, which start on August 27 in Daegu, South Korea.
Boyd was in London yesterday and unavailable for comment, but her father spoke to the Daily.
Ray Boyd, a fellow Commonwealth Games gold medal-winning pole vaulter and his daughter’s former coach, said their hopes were high.
He said Boyd was hoping to jump a personal best of 4.65 metres sometime over the next six weeks and that would put her around the world’s top eight.
“She’s been training pretty well and just needs some competition at the moment,” he said.
“It’s been a bit of a rush.
"She had to wait to be able to train and so forth.
“She’s been going off a short run-up for most of that time.
"She’s on to a full run-up now, so all she needs is a bit of competition to put the icing on the cake.
“On Saturday we’ll see how it goes.
"She needs to make a start now.
"She’s got five or six competitions before the worlds and I’d like to think she can be back to her best in that period of time.”
Boyd was named in the Australian team for the world championships despite sitting out the national championships in April because of a knee problem.
She was given special consideration by selectors due to her win at the Delhi Commonwealth Games, where she vaulted 4.40 metres.
Ray said although his daughter’s preparations for the world titles had not been ideal, she was looking to make a statement in the lead-up to next year’s London Olympics.
“Of course her focus is going to be on next year (the Olympics), but what she needs over the next year is competition with the top girls,” he said.
“Having said that, if she can do a PB at the world champs, that puts her in a pretty good place and looking good.”