Carlee on track for London

CARLEE Beattie is set to make the Australian team for a second Paralympics in 2012 after missing the world long jump record by .02 of a metre a week ago.

Beattie won a gold medal at the national titles in Perth with a legal leap of 5.71 metres in her category.

During a day of variable wind, a few of the jumps were deemed to be wind assisted, which cost Beattie a share of the world record when she jumped 5.73m.

She is confident she will be at London in 2012.

“I have only had four competitions in long jump so have a long way to go, there is so much more I can learn,” Beattie said.

Before the Beijing Paralympics, Beattie set a new Australian record in javelin but injury ended her throwing dreams at the 2008 Paralympics so she concentrated on the 100 and 200 metres at the games.

Some might ask why didn’t she compete in the long jump at Beijing and possibly win a gold medal.

Unfortunately, there was no long jump in her category at Beijing as the number of competitors did not meet the requirements.

The event is on the program for the world championships in Christchurch in January, which is a pointer there are more jumpers in Beattie’s category than two years ago.

On form, Beattie is one of the favourites for the long jump in the world championships and if it is at London, 2012, the Warwick athlete would be a serious medal chance.

It was in the long and triple jumps where Beattie starred at school, district and regional level while at Warwick West, Assumption College and Warwick High.

She also performed well in other athletics events, netball and hockey.

Despite her success at long jump, she still plans to pursue her 100m and 200m.

Her time of 26.56 seconds in the 200 metres at Perth would have earnt her a spot in the final at Beijing and a midfield finish. At present, the 100m is her third event.

During the next summer athletics season, Beattie will compete with able-bodied athletes in the long jump at some of the meets.

Her distance in this year’s nationals would have put her sixth in the able-bodied event, but she needs to improve one metre to be competitive in able-bodied long jump.

“(With my short arm) it is more difficult for me to throw myself in the long jump, so I am getting a prosthetic arm in the next few months,” Beattie said.

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