Broken hand no bar to big Games debut
By AARON KELLY
AUSTRALIAN discus throw- er Benn Harradine's first Com- monwealth Games experience was an event to remember in more ways than one.
Fresh from his Games debut, Harradine was back on the field passing on some tips to some of Rockhampton's budding ath- letes at Rockhampton State High School yesterday.
"It was the best experience ever,'' said Harradine, who fin- ished eighth in the men's dis- cus final, despite competing with a broken hand.
Harradine's training partner, Scott Martin, claimed gold in that event with his final throw.
"Scott said after the competi- tion he was more nervous about me beating him,'' Harradine said of his Australian team- mate now famous for his danc- ing skills in a NAB advertise- ment during the Games.
"For me, that was a really nice thing to say.''
Harradine, who will have surgery on his right hand on April 10, is preparing for a "long, heavy and injury-free'' winter training program before joining next year's European circuit in the build-up to the Beijing Olympics in 2008.
"It's a chance to compete with the big boys and make some money,'' Harradine said.
Also looking towards Beijing is promising Brisbane pole vaulter Alana Boyd.
Boyd, 21, narrowly missed se- lection for the Australian track and field team for the Common- wealth Games after finishing fourth in the pecking order with an A-qualifier mark.
The top-three athletes were chosen.
"It's good that we've got the depth in this country,'' said Boyd, whose father, Ray, repre- sented Australia at two Olym- pics, while her mother, Denise, is a former Australian 200m re- cord-holder.
The Australian stars will host a coaching clinic at the Central Queensland University from 1.30pm-3pm today.