It has been a breakthrough year in 2011 for Anneliese Rubie as she embarks on a senior career in track and field for Australia. A place on the Australian team for the upcoming World University Games in the women’s 400m came on the back of a superb bronze medal performance at the Australian Championships, while a trip to Daegu as part of the women’s 4x400m team remains a realistic opportunity for the 19 year-old sprint star.

Rubie has seen her personal best over the one lap come down from 53.88sec in 2010 (where she also made the semi finals at the World Juniors) to 53.31sec when 3rd in Melbourne – a performance that came after a frustrating battle to break through the 54 second barrier earlier on in the season. Rubie will now join Caitlin Sargent as the future of 400m running in Australia, so it will certainly be an exciting time for both Rubie and Sargent in 2011 and beyond.

Below Rubie talks about her breakthrough run in Melbourne and her trip to Europe in preparation for the World University Games.

In my last blog I mentioned I had done 100m, 200m, 600m, and 800m pb’s, but just hadn’t cracked the 400m one yet. Since then, I’ve taken half a second off my existing personal best and lowered it to 53.31, which was at the Australian Championships. I was extremely happy with my result that weekend, exhausted after a long season, but motivated to keep getting faster.

Heading into Nationals I knew I was in great shape, so I was pretty confident I could get a medal. To come third, even though I just missed silver, was really exciting and a great way to finish off the season. I remember the night before the race, I was having trouble sleeping because I was so excited/nervous to run in my first Opens final, and I just kept visualising how the race would play out. For once though, I actually ran exactly as I had imagined, running relaxed the whole way and finishing strongly. So this gave my coach and I security that I am heading in the right direction physically and mentally.

After a much needed 7 days off, I jumped straight back into training because my time had given me selection in the team for the World University Games in Shenzhen, China in August – right before the World Championships (which I am still hoping to make the 4×4 relay team for). To best prepare for this I will be making my way over to Europe in July with Sianne Tomoe, who was also selected in the WUG’s team for the 800m, to train and do a couple of races in the warmer weather. I’m really looking forward to this as I know it will give me much needed international racing experience and a chance to familiarise myself with how to cope with the trials of travel and training. I’ve been told that ear plugs, eye masks and neck pillows will become my best friends!

So for now I am getting stuck into lots of tough gym and track sessions. I’ve done a couple of time trials already and am well ahead of schedule, come August if everything goes to plan I will be ready to duck under 53 seconds.

Note: Rubie will be heading to the Gold Coast this weekend for the Gold Coast Winter series, where she will compete in the 400m against the talented Western Australian, Jody Henry.