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Fast, young athletics team for Rio

  • Fast, young athletics team for Rio

    Henry Frayne has put aside four injury-plagued years to book his spot on the Aussie team for Rio.

Luckless long jumper Henry Frayne has put aside four injury-plagued years to book his spot on the Australian team for the Rio Olympics.

Frayne has been beset with hamstring, groin and back problems since 2012, the year he shot to prominence to claim silver at the world indoor championships.

Having not competed all year, the 25-year-old was understandably nervous when he woke up on Sunday.

But he was still able to produce his two biggest jumps since 2012 - 8.16m and 8.15m - to finish second behind world indoor and outdoor champion Fabrice Lapierre (8.27m) at the national championships at Sydney Olympic Park.

"Back in 2012 there was more excitement," said Frayne, after twice achieving the tough qualifying standard of 8.15m.

"This is more relief.

"There has not been a lot of jumping between then and now.

"That was really the peak of my career in early 2012 and since then I've had more injuries than probably any other athlete in track and field.

"It's been a trial to get back here and even in the warm-up I was struggling on Friday with some hamstring (soreness and) I thought about pulling out.

"So to get two qualifying jumps and a couple of fouls that were probably competitive with Fabrice's jump, I'm really stoked."

With London Olympics silver medallist Mitchell Watt also targeting the Rio Games if he can overcome his own longstanding leg problems, Australia could potentially have three genuine podium contenders in the men's long jump in Rio.

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