Sprint queen Melissa Breen was “freaked out” by a start malfunction on Saturday night but she believes the experience will be useful as she plots a long and successful athletics career.
Breen suffered a minor shock at the Perth Track Classic when her starting blocks in the 100m sprint slipped as she took off.
The 23-year-old stumbled to the ground, but she regained her composure to run a solid 11.31 seconds and win comfortably after the race was re-started.
Breen was a tad disappointed with the time after she ran an Australian record 11.11 in Canberra earlier this month.
But she was pleased with the way she regrouped after the mishap.
“It’s happened a few times at training, but never in a race. It freaked me out massively,” Breen said.
“It was a little unsettling.
“I was a little too powerful out of the blocks, and they slid backwards.
“I had to gather my thoughts again and execute a good race.”
Breen wants to break the 11-second barrier at some point in the next two years, and has set her sights of making the 100m final at the 2016 Olympics in Rio.
“I hope I’m in the sport for the next eight years,” said Breen, whose funding from Athletics Australia was withdrawn last year in the belief she would struggle to have a major impact in the sport.
“The top sprinters in the world are closer to 30. I’ve got many more years of training and getting stronger.
“It would be amazing to be the first Australian to (go under 11 seconds).
“I hope Sally (Pearson) and I can continue to push each other.”
Pearson withdrew from the 100m sprint after feeling a slight niggle in her hamstrings a day earlier.
But the Olympic champion blitzed the field in the 100m hurdles, posting an impressive time of 12.59sec in her first hurdle event of the season.
The 27-year-old will now turn her attention to the Indoor World Championships in Poland, where she will be aiming to regain her 60m hurdles crown.
Meanwhile, dual 400m hurdles Olympic champion Felix Sanchez is confident of being fit for the Sydney Track Classic on March 15 despite injuring his quad in Perth.
Sanchez, the defending Olympic champion, was clearly hampered by the injury as he finished a disappointing fifth in a race he was expected to win.
Fellow star international LaShawn Merritt had no trouble winning the 400m, with the American world champion easing up down the straight in a rare February run for him.