Celia Sullohern (right) in action winning the women's 5000 metres during day two of the Australian Athletics Championships at Carrara Stadium on the Gold Coast, Friday, February 16, 2018. (AAP Image/Darren England) NO ARCHIVING, EDITORIAL USE ONLY
Celia Sullohern (right) in action winning the women's 5000 metres during day two of the Australian Athletics Championships at Carrara Stadium on the Gold Coast, Friday, February 16, 2018. (AAP Image/Darren England) NO ARCHIVING, EDITORIAL USE ONLY DARREN ENGLAND

Sullohern focussed on medal opportunity at Games

ATHLETICS: Yamba athlete Celia Sullohern is focussed on winning a medal on home soil.

So focussed on the task at hand in tomorrow's 10,000m track final at the 2018 Commonwealth Games, Sullohern has refused all media requests in the past week.

She is not letting anything distract her from an opportunity to clinch a medal.

Sullohern will go in to the final as the fastest woman in Australia over the 10,000m distance, but she is far from assured of a medal finish, with fellow Australian Eloise Wellings playing the experience card on her rival.

But if there is anything Sullohern has proven in the past 12 months, is that she isn't afraid of overcoming the odds.

At the beginning of 2017 Sullohern decided to take up triathlon, joining the Clarence Valley Triathlon Club and heading to Goondiwindi for her first competition.

Having been a long distance and cross-country champion in the past, Sullohern soon found herself knocking down the door in the triathlon world setting a record run time to win the 2017 BCU Coffs Triathlon women's event.

Clarence Valley Triathlon Club president Kim Elvery said many people in the club were shocked by her proficiency in the sport.

"We didn't really know anything about her background when she first turned up, but when she did her first club race it was like 'wow, this girl can run'," Elvery said.

"She obviously came in and won a few races here and there and then people started to notice her."

Sullohern then went on to be first person across the line the Herald Sun City to Surf in Sydney last year, before returning to the track to win the Melbourne marathon, and in the process stripped five minute off her personal best time.

The victory in the marathon, and a few words from coach and former Olympian Scott Westcott, had Sullohern change her focus to the Commonwealth Games running in qualifying events in the 10,000m and 5000m in Melbourne.

"She was a bit torn between what she wanted to do," Elvery said. "But I think her passion is in running, so that's what she's gone back to for the time being. She can do triathlon anytime."

Sullohern blitzed the field, beating out Commonwealth Games team mates Wellings and Jess Trengrove at the Zatopek 10,000m national championships in December to qualify for tonight's event on the Gold Coast.

She has also qualified for the 5000m event which will be run later this week.

Clarence Valley athletics fans should also keep an eye out for Grafton-born Zoe Buckman who will run in the 1500m heats today.



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