Athletics: Greene looks set to go distance

Rebekah Greene (St Hildas) on her way to winning  the women's 3000m at the Caledonian Ground on...
Rebekah Greene (St Hildas) on her way to winning the women's 3000m at the Caledonian Ground on Saturday. Photo by Peter McIntosh.
Rebekah Greene (St Hildas) will start as favourite to win the junior girls 1500m and 3000m double at the New Zealand secondary schools championships at Timaru next month.

Greene (15) has been the best-performed women's middle-distance runner in Otago over the past two years, and has shown international potential.

The former gymnast is coached by former Australian Jim Baird, who pushes his athletes to fulfil their potential.

Greene wants to retain her junior girls 3000m title at the championships. She is also contesting the 1500m, in which she won a bronze medal in Hamilton last year.

She has been in record-breaking form on the track this season and has lowered her own Otago 1500m record for a 15, 16 and 17-year-old by 10 seconds to 4min 29.76sec.

Significantly, she beat the record for a 17-year-old by two seconds. The old record was run by Olympic marathon representative Nina Rillstone (Caversham) in 1993.

Greene had a taste of international athletics for the first time in December last year when she won a gold medal in the 3000m at the Pacific Schools Games in Canberra.

She followed this up in January by winning the 3000m silver medal and being the best-performed Otago competitor at the Sydney Youth Olympic Festival.

Greene and her training partner, Anna-Lisa Uttley (Bayfield), have both been named in the New Zealand team for the world schools cross-country in Slovakia in April.

 

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