GEELONG marathon runner Lee Troop will run the biggest race of his life tomorrow.
Coached by four-time Olympian Steve Moneghetti, Troop is hoping 2 1/2 years of solid training will pay dividends with a top-10 finish in the men’s marathon at the Beijing Olympics.
“That’s sort of always been my goal,” the 35-year-old said.
“Obviously it didn’t happen at Sydney, I got injured. Athens just didn’t go well at all.
“I’ve just got to hope my body can stand up and on August 24 I can run the best race of my life. If I can do that I’m confident I can be in the top 10.”
The three-time Olympian said he felt injury-free for the first time since Sydney.
“In the Olympics you never know if you’ve cooked yourself until the gun goes off and you think to yourself, ‘Why am I so flat?’,” Troop said.
“In Athens I felt like I was a car that had five gears and only four were working.
“My biggest priority has always been just trying to get to the start line in one piece.
“I’ve never really worried about doing all the other things you do as added extras because if you can’t run then it’s pointless doing it.”
Troop told the Herald Sun last month he was prepared to risk his heath and future well-being to compete.
“I haven’t spent 25 years of my life to bypass an Olympic Games,” he said.
Albury’s Lauren Jackson, Mirboo North’s Belinda Snell and Bendigo’s Kristi Harrower will line up for the Opals tonight when they face the US for the basketball gold medal.
Bruthen’s Daniel McConnell makes his Olympic debut in today’s mountain bike cross country event.
Much has been made of the exploits of the Australian women at the Beijing Olympics, but the men have dominated for country Victoria.
Rowing legend Drew Ginn claimed his third Olympic gold medal with Duncan Free in the men’s pair at Shunyi last Saturday.
In the process the boy from Leongatha also claimed country Victoria’s first gold medal of the Games.
Also on Saturday James Marburg (Terang) and Cameron McKenzie-McHarg (Leongatha) were part of the men’s four crew which won silver behind Great Britain.
And Ballarat’s Jared Tallent claimed Australia’s first track and field medal of the Olympics, beating Beijing’s stifling heat to claim bronze in the 20km walk and won silver in the 50m walk yesterday.
Bendigo sailor Glenn Ashby added to the tally after he paired with Darren Bundock to win silver in the Tornado class at Qingdao.
Bendigo’s Glenn Saville hit two consecutive three-pointers during the Boomers quarter-final loss to the United States
There was disappointment for country Victoria and Australia as a whole when Geelong’s Craig Mottram failed to qualify for the 5000m final.
From the Editor:
I have known Lee for a couple of years thru his work that he puts back into running and especially the ultrarunning side. I wish him the BEST of luck and am sure that he is going to do his best for himself and Australia.