Jana nervous but still streets the field

By JOHN SALVADO

WITH more spare time on her hands than usual, Jana Rawlinson (nee Pittman) overcame a rare bout of nerves before cruising into the 400m hurdles semi-finals at the world athletics championships yesterday.

The 2003 world title-holder was nearly 20 metres clear of the field coming into the home straight before having a look over her shoulder and easing to the line in 54.77 seconds.

It was the fourth quickest qualifying time behind leading American Tiffany Ross-Williams, world record holder Yuliya Pechonkina of Russia and Olympic bronze medallist Tetyana Tereshchuk-Antipova from Ukraine.

The life of Rawlinson and her husband and coach Chris has been less hectic than usual for the past few days, since sending their infant son Cornelis home to Australia with his grandparents for the week.

"I was so nervous today that I barely slept last night," said the 24-year-old.

"It's the first time it's ever happened to me in my life to be honest.

"I'm usually very professional, thinking 'oh yeah it's only the heats' but for some reason today I was ready to run, quite excited and really nervous which I wasn't expecting.

"I guess it's when our whole life has been so different lately and all we've had to do is sit around."

Meanwhile, Sally McLellan continued her outstanding campaign, powering into the semi-finals of the 100m hurdles.

Despite feeling fatigued after running the opening two rounds of the 100m flat yesterday, McLellan was an impressive second in her sprint hurdles heat, clocking 12.85 seconds to finish behind defending world champion Michelle Perry of the US.

McLellan was the ninth fastest qualifier overall.

The 20-year-old Queenslander was last night switching her attention back to the 100m, with the semis and final scheduled for the evening session.

McLellan ran "the race of my life" in the opening round of the 100m on Sunday night, when she moved to No.2 on the Australian all-time list with 11.14.



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