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Written by Administrator   
Friday, 22 July 2016 23:17

Long Time Member Selma Kajan Finally Realizes Her Olympic Dream


Beating the qualification deadline by a few days, Selma Kajan has qualified for the Rio Olympics in the 800m, running her first lap in a fraction under 59secs, and hitting the tape in 2:01.27 (race can be viewed here)!

 

 

 

 

This fantastic result couldn't happen to a nicer family. Selma's parents, Alija and Biba, have worked tirelessly for the Club for over a decade, managing teams, volunteering at fun runs, providing food and drinks, attending meetings and much more.

Selma does have genetics on her side; she hails from a nice mix of speed over stamina! Biba still holds the Bosnian 800m record at 2:03.00 (set 31 years ago!) and Alija is a 2:18 marathon runner.

Selma excelled as a junior:

  • fastest Under 14 girl in 2005 in the world at 800m
  • showed versatility by winning State Cross Country 3k
  • 4th in 800m at World School Games
  • competed at the World Youth Champs
  • Medalled in the Commonwealth Youth Games 4x400m.
Competing over 400m at Homebush back in 2007

However, Selma's latest achievement did not come without much adversity. She suffered a stress fracture in 2009 and went to hospital for a navicular operation. She also had to overcome glandular fever and internal bleeding around that time.

Selma's health improved over the coming years and coached by her father she progressed nicely with her training, lowering in the process her 800m, 1000m and 1500m timers. Last year she switched coaches (went to famous Nic Bideau) with clear intention to qualify for Olympics. Her spirits rose when the IOC changed the 800m qualifying time from 2:01.00 to 2:01.50 due to the Russian doping revelations. This season Selma ran 2:02 on a couple of occasions before lowering her PB to 2:01.67 in France. But then she was struck with a virus at the beginning of June and struggled to get even close to qualifying.

Selma fought off the virus and went to Barcelona in her penultimate opportunity to qualify. Although she may have had one other opportunity after that, her attitude that she may never get better conditions than the present paid off beautifully and she qualified with time to spare. This means that the Club has had at least one representative in no less than 19 Olympiads – more than most countries!

Selma with her team at 2011 State Relays

Selma will now travel to Mt Laguna, USA for altitude training before joining the Australian team in Florida for heat acclimatisation. Unfortunately, this means Selma will not return to Australia before she competes and there will be no opportunity to give her an official send-off/fund-raising function.

But please note that Selma has received very little funding to date in her athletics career and anyone wishing to donate to her can do so via the Selma’s account:

Selma Kajan
ACC: 153701940
BSB: 083-832
Description: Selma Rio

All smiles after race in Barcelona

 

We wish Selma and her family all the best and hopefully she can win another senior international medal to complement the bronze she received in the 4x800m at the World Championships!

 

Jim Dawes

President

Selma with her team at 2011 State Relays

 
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