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VIDEO: 'Jiggling Jenneke' goes viral in warm up routine

ATHLETICS: The Sunshine Coast was given a firsthand experience of Australian hurdler Michelle Jenneke's bizarrely compelling world-famous warm-up dance yesterday.

For the first time in its history, the Sunshine Coast Annual Winter Carnival entertained Jenneke and a host of elite national athletes as they made last-minute preparations for the world championships in Beijing.

Jenneke was the centre of attention as young aspiring athletes flocked to the University of the Sunshine Coast to catch a glimpse of her brutal speed and power.

But her internet-breaking warm-up dance may have stolen the show.

A YouTube clip of her pre race ritual first appeared online in 2012 and featured on America's The Tonight Show before amassing 6 million views and landing her a Sports Illustrated photo shoot.

But Jenneke said the routine begun back in 2009 just as a bit of fun.

"It was the last race of the meet and I'd already done four or five events and I was feeling flat," she said.

"I just wasn't feeling it and my coach just said 'I can't help you. You've got to find a way to pump yourself up'.

"They were playing music at the start line so I just started being stupid and mucking around.

"My friends were at the start line and they were teasing me so I was just doing silly things and the dance as it's now known."

100m Women's hurdles star Michelle Jenneke. Photo: Jason Dougherty / Sunshine Coast Daily
100m Women's hurdles star Michelle Jenneke. Photo: Jason Dougherty / Sunshine Coast Daily Jason Dougherty

Jenneke would go on to win her first medal in the 100m event and post her longest-standing personal best time.

"I was really relaxed coming into that race, so (now) I just try to emulate that," she said.

"It's not something that I consciously think about (though).

"Even at training, I'll do it and not even realise.

"People will be laughing at me and I'll think 'oh that's right'."

Although Jenneke clipped the final hurdle yesterday and said she'd been feeling flat all day, she went on to comfortably win both the 100m sprint and the 100m hurdles.

With Australian Olympic gold medallist Sally Pearson injured, Jenneke has drawn attention as the next woman to take up the mantle for Australia.

But the 22-year-old wasn't getting ahead of herself.

"I think it's such a compliment that people say I run like her and that I'm going to reach the same level, but I'm not sure I will," she said.

"Personality-wise we're very dissimilar.

"She's really focused and quite introverted before she runs, whereas I'm always chatting with people and joking around."

Jenneke has three races in Netherlands, Belgium and Japan before the world championships in August.

Topics:  athletes athletics



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