How many of these age phenoms have we seen come and go?
Schoolgirl, 11, smashes Freeman’s 24-year record
By Alex Murdoch
October 24, 2007 02:00am
Article from: Herald Sun
IS pint-sized powerhouse Amber Rowlandson the next Cathy Freeman?
Rowlandson, 11, has smashed the Olympic gold medallist’s Queensland 11-year-old girls’ 200m record at the primary school aths championships in Cairns.
And, as her coach Greg Hallam says, she’s got the body type and talent to go all the way.
The shy student, who also won the 100m sprint, erased Freeman’s 24-year-old record of 26.72sec by 0.12s – leaving the competition far behind.
Amber’s times were so fast that had she been racing the boys she would have won.
“Could she be the next Cathy Freeman?” Hallam said yesterday.
“She’s a very special talent. One day at a time, one season at a time, but the sky’s the limit.”
Amber, who trains with the Mayne Harriers in Albion, said Freeman was her hero, but admits she was only four when Freeman won gold.
Amber had been eyeing Freeman’s 200m state record for the past year and said setting a new mark made her “very, very happy”.
“I don’t think about winning, I just think about getting to the finish line,” Amber said.
Hallam said Amber trained two nights a week, with the emphasis on having fun.
“She’s just got the perfect body for a runner, and I think probably like Freeman she’ll end up a 400m runner,” he said.
“I’ve been fortunate enough to coach a number of state and national competitors and I’ve never seen anyone of her age with the focus and technical ability that Amber has.”
Hallam said Amber’s next major step was to compete at the national primary school titles at Launceston next month, before hopefully making the primary school Pan Pacific Games in Canberra next year.