"Boden leads the way to brighter future for Aussie athletics" While Australia’s chances at the upcoming World Athletics Championships in Helsinki look bleak, the future of the sport is looking a lot brighter thanks to Lauren Boden. Boden returned home to Palmerston from the World Youth Championships in Morocco yesterday with a little extra baggage — a silver medal. The 17-year-old Canberran was one of 37 Australian athletes who competed in Marrakech after she won the 400m hurdles at the National Championships earlier this year. Boden blitzed the field in the heats to qualify fastest in 58.19 and was confident heading into the final. “Having run a race the day before sort of put all the nerves out of the way,” she said. “I knew what I had to do so I just went out and gave it my best shot.” Boden and AIS coach Matt Beckenham devised a plan of attack for the race but didn’t anticipate her American rival Ebony Collins running a two second personal best to snatch the gold medal. “The final was a bit windier and I thought I ran better but the time was slightly slower. I’m thrilled that I got second.” Boden also competed in the long jump, but was disappointed with her 10th place. “My first jump was a foul and I was pretty disappointed because it was a decent jump. I was looking to make top 8 because then you get another 3 jumps.” While Boden’s career spans over a decade now, she has only started to take the sport seriously in the last couple of years. “I’ve always done hurdles. I think I would prefer to run the 400m hurdles than the 400m flat purely because it gives you something to do. “You’re not concentrating about the pain so much, you take it one hurdle at a time, so it helps break down the race.” At just 17 years of age and competing at such a high level, the Commonwealth Games next year seem within her reach, but Boden is not setting her sights too high just yet. “It is an aim but it’s not something really major. I know that there will be other Commonwealth Games opportunities for me, so I’m not getting too hung up on this one. There is World Juniors in Beijing next year which is probably more realistic for me,” she said. While the Olympic Games are her ultimate dream, Boden is aiming for longevity in the sport rather than immediate success. Despite comparisons to Australia’s 400m hurdler Jana Pittman being thrown around already, Boden’s head is firmly set on her shoulders. “I don’t want to be a child prodigy who never makes it to the next level. My aim is to be like Jana but only in terms of her world status. People say you’re the next Jana but really I’m the first Lauren,” she said.
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Born Adelaide 1948. Moved to Canberra 1969. Married Jenny 1970. Three children - Nathan Moore, Loani Falconer, and Mon Hall; children-in-law Lisa Moore, Wes Falconer, and Scotty Hall. Thirteen grandchildren - Jackson, Tyler, Charlie and Samuel Moore; Kayleigh, Jarod, Alex, Olivia, Will, and Sophie Falconer; Josiah, Liana, and Amelie Hall.