Just weeks after setting a new national record, Linden Hall has qualified for her second Olympic Games in the middle-distance event 1500 metres.
Despite also qualifying for the 800-metre event, Hall has chosen to focus on her specialty due to a clash between the two events. As a result, Catriona Bisset has been given the opportunity to make her Olympic debut.
The Inner Sanctum spoke with Hall following the official announcement that she’d made the Olympic team. The 29-year-old embraced the opportunity of sharing this experience with her teammates.
“With the actual race, it was a bit ‘did that happen,’ but this all makes it feel very real and obviously getting to share it with all my teammates is really special,” she said.
“We are all in individual sports, so it’s nice to share it with everyone and have that camaraderie.
“In Rio, I just missed the final, so the main goal will really be to make the final.
“It’s such a tactical race, you don’t have to be the fastest. You can win if you can be smart, and race well and if you’re not too cooked by the time you make it to the final after running two other rounds.”
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It’s been two years since Hall has had the opportunity to compete at an international level. In 2019, the Australian Champion finished 10th overall in the semi-final at the World Athletics Championships, but missed out on the final.
Hall has since then shaved 1.19 seconds off of her personal best, becoming the first Australian woman to run 1500 metres in under four minutes.
Hall said that one of the challenges in the past 12 months has been keeping motivation up as questions loomed over whether the games would go ahead.
“Getting to nationals, it finally felt like it was actually going to happen,” she said.
“Everyone has stopped asking ‘do you think it’s going to happen’… everyone has agreed that it’s on. It’s great that everyone’s onboard now. I was like ‘it’s happening.’
“It’s been challenging to keep your motivation high when it was a bit questionable and everything was a bit up in the air, so it feels a lot more real now.”
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