Gympie teen to represent Australia at Oceania Championships
ATHLETICS: Gympie's rising star Chantelle Chippindall has taken a big step towards her dream of becoming an Olympian.
Chippindall was selected in the under-20s Australian team for the heptathlon and shot up for the 2019 Oceania Area Championships in June at Townsville.
Based on her performance at the Australian Championships, Chippindall will put Gympie and Australia on the world stage.
"I was really excited when I found out and I don't think it has really sunk in yet because we didn't expect it,” she said.
"When I received the email saying I had been selected there was a bit of shock but nerves at the same time.”
This will be the first time Chippindall has competed against international athletes.
"We have to get sorted now because I never competed at something like this before,” she said.
Chippindall is aiming for 5000 points and her training will include her mental preparation.
"I got 4966 at the Aus champs and I want to get those 5000 points,” she said.
"Compared to last year I have focused a lot more because I am out of school and I've upped the intensity - more gym sessions and technique sessions.
"I have been doing some yoga sessions just to relax my mind and my body and trying to stop those negative thoughts.”
Despite the improvements in her performance, Chippendall has a couple areas that will be the focus before the championships.
"I am hoping to improve my hurdles and high jump a little bit more,” she said.
"I am happy with how my hurdles have come. I was two seconds faster compared to last year which is huge but I know I can improve even more. I need to be more aggressive because I haven't had enough practice but it's getting there.
"My technique (in high jump) has improved but it is about breaking that mental barrier. As soon as it gets to a certain height I freak out a little bit and don't focus on the jump and what I need to do to get over it. I just focus on 'wow that's really high I'm not going to make this'. I need to be more positive and visualise what I need to do rather than just standing around before an event and getting nervous.”
With the heptathlon comprising of seven events, Chippindall said there was variety at training.
"I like it because every day is different. I get up at 5am so I can train and then go to work,” she said.
"By the end of the week I am just exhausted but when you receive news like this, it makes it all worth it.”
The championships will be held from Tuesday, June 25-28.