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National record in Nelson's sights

12 September 2017

ATHLETICS: Australian sprinter Ella Nelson says she has moved past the health concerns that plagued her 2017 campaign.

And she will have Melinda Gainsford-Taylor's Australian 200m record in her sights at next year's Commonwealth Games.

The sprinter shot to fame at Rio's Olympic Games when a personal best time of 22.50 seconds placed her ninth and just 0.01 seconds away from a berth in the final.

But the 23-year-old has struggled to replicate that form ever since, a last place in her heat at London's World Championships in August capping a torrid season.

She was not able to run under 23 seconds all year, while her time in London was more than 1.5 seconds slower than her Rio semi-final in 2016.

Enjoying some down time on the Gold Coast, Nelson said she was confident of rediscovering the speed she showed in Brazil when the Queensland city hosts the Commonwealth Games next April.

"It wasn't just a dip in form, I had a lot of health issues," she said.

"My body let me down in ways that I hadn't experienced before and it was really new to me.

"This year provided a lot of lessons for me, so I'm really excited to work on those."

She said the World Championships had still benefited her, despite all signs pointing to another slow time in the lead up.

"We kind of new a few weeks out that something was seriously wrong with my health," Nelson said.

"I was just told to really soak it up.

"I could hear the locals cheer so loudly for the British girls ... knowing that will be me on the Gold Coast next year, it's exciting."

Nelson will soon return to Phoenix in the United States, where she will train alongside Canada's Olympic bronze and silver medallist Andre De Grasse.

Nelson said eclipsing Gainsford-Taylor's Australian record of 22.23 seconds was the ultimate goal.

"Yeah, of course I can (go faster)," she said.

"I think I can PB again, absolutely, and I want to get that national record, whether it's next year, or the year after.

"This year could have been amazing, but it went the other way and I'd rather it happen this year than next."

AAP 

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