The Australian

Long wait no hurdle for hometown hope

- CHARLIE PEEL

Brisbane sprinter Torrie Lewis is one of Australia’s great hopes for gold at the 2032 southeast Queensland Olympics.

Last year, aged just 15, she equalled champion hurdler

Sally Pearson’s 100m under-18 Australian record, catching the eye of the internatio­nal athletics community.

Now, she’s set her sights on Olympic gold in her home city.

The plan is for Torrie, 16, to have the wisdom from competing in two Olympic Games under her belt by the time she reaches the pinnacle of her powers as a 27-year-old in front of a home crowd at the 2032 Games. Lewis attended the 2018 Commonweal­th Games on the Gold Coast as a spectator and it inspired her dream to compete on the biggest stage before an adoring home crowd.

“The crowd was just amazing, especially for the Australian athletes,” she said on Thursday from her temporary training base in Newcastle.

“If I have a chance to

experience that in Brisbane, my actual hometown, then it will be really exciting.

“It is inspiring because I want to go into those Olympics with a really good chance of doing well and making everyone at home proud.”

The student from St Peter’s Lutheran College at Indooroopi­lly moved to Brisbane last year and in October broke the Queensland under-16 100m record, equalling champion hurdler Pearson’s national record of 11.57 seconds at the same time.

The Internatio­nal Olympic Committee’s announceme­nt that Queensland was the frontrunne­r for the 2032 event has become extra motivation for the rising star. “Any Olympics would be the goal but if it’s a home Olympics it’s going to be really special to us,” she said.

“I’ll be training between now and then to make it the best run of my life.”

Torrie’s coach, Gerrard Keating, whose career highlight was competing in the Brisbane 1982 Commonweal­th Games as a 19year-old, said a local Games would inspire a new wave of young Australian athletes.

“For any athlete to get the opportunit­y to run at a home Games is something you’ll never forget,” Keating said.

“The people who were fortunate enough to compete at the Sydney Olympics still talk about it and treasure it. Brisbane is such a beautiful city and would do such an amazing job.’’

Athletics Australia chief executive Darren Gocher said attending an Olympic Games in their own country was an exciting prospect for young athletes.

“Having a Games in Australia could present us with a unique opportunit­y to showcase our sport and our talent to the nation, and if southeast Queensland wins the bid, it could inspire more young Australian­s to get involved,” Mr Gocher said.

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