Alana Boyd says she is confident a world championships A qualifier is just around the corner after falling just short in winning the women’s pole vault at the IAAF World Challenge meet in Melbourne.
Boyd posted her third B qualifying mark this year with an effort of 4.50 metres at the Lakside Stadium on Saturday night, 10cm short of the A mark that will effectively confirm her spot for August’s world titles in Moscow.
The London Olympics finalist finished ahead of American Mary Saxer (4.40m) and Australia’s world junior silver medallist Liz Parnov (4.30m).
It is unlikely Boyd would be omitted from the Australian team for Moscow if she was to miss out on posting an A qualifier.
But she is adamant a clearance of 4.60m is possible at next weekend’s national championships in Sydney.
“It’s all there, it’s probably just putting it together and relaxing and letting it happen and not forcing it to happen,” she told Grandstand.
Boyd enjoyed a fruitful 2012, having set a new national record of 4.76m early in the season prior to making the final in both London (11th) and at the world indoor championships in Istanbul (ninth).
She made the decision after the Olympics to leave the national pole vault centre in Perth, where she was under the guidance of coach Alex Parnov, and return to south-east Queensland.
The 28-year-old is now being coached by her father Ray, a 1976 Olympian and 1982 Commonwealth Games pole vault champion.
Boyd worked with her father prior to moving west to join Parnov’s stable and she says it has been a positive step to have returned home.
… it’s probably just putting it together and relaxing and letting it happen and not forcing it to happen.Alana Boyd
“I’m loving being back home and training with Dad is going really well,” she said.
“I’m settle back there and training on the Sunshine Coast and in Brisbane and loving things.”
Lauren Boden was another London Olympian to chalk up a victory in Melbourne, winning the 400m hurdles in 57.04.
The performance was outside the B qualifying time of 56.55, although the Canberran has not had as many track sessions in training under her belt as she would normally have had at this stage of the year.
Boden was forced to undergo a rehabilitation program in the off-season because of a lingering knee injury, which meant her preparation mainly consisted of rest and cross-training.
She was unimpressed with the time she ran in Melbourne, but feels at least a B qualifier could be possible at the national titles.
“It’s really kind of hard to process at the moment because I feel like it was a lot better than what the time would suggest,” she said.
“It’s consistent for the three runs I’ve had this season. I feel like I’m fit and ready to go … hopefully I can produce it in Sydney next week.”