JOEL Bee admits he faces an uphill battle to go to next month’s Glasgow Commonwealth Games.
The Melbourne-based Ballarat sprinter has been named in the 4x100m relay team for his Commonwealth Games debut despite being sidelined with a hamstring injury – a setback which forced him out of the inaugural world relay championships in the Bahamas late last month.
He has not raced over 100m since the Australian Track and Field Championships in Melbourne in early April, when he collected a silver medal behind Tim Leathart, who has also been selected in the six-man 4x100m squad with Jarrod Geddes (NSW), Jake Hammond (NSW), Alex Hartmann (Queensland) and Jin Su Jung (NSW).
Bee pulled up sore after the Stawell Gift Carnival where, as backmarker, he reach the Gift semi-finals.
“I can’t even run at this stage,” he told The Courier within hours of the Australian track and field team for Glasgow being named on Thursday.
“I haven’t even done any run-throughs.”
Bee said he had an appointment to see a physiotherapist.
“I’ll go to the track after that and try some run-throughs,” he said, mindful that selectors would need to find a replacement as a soon as possible if he had to withdraw.
Bee is part of a strong Ballarat flavour in the 103-strong athletic team.
wealth Games Association confirmed the selection of middle distance runner Collis Birmingham, javelin thrower Kathryn Mitchell and 3000m steeplechaser Victoria Mitchell.
All three were nominated by Athletics Australia earlier this year.
In addition, Birmingham’s “Ballarat Project” training partner Ryan Gregson has been selected for the 1500m.
Birmingham will contest two events – the 5000m and 1500m – at his second Commonwealth Games.
He ran in the 5000m and 10,000m in New Delhi in 2010, but performed impressively in the 4x1500m in the world relay championships.
Kathryn Mitchell will be throwing in her third Commonwealth Games.
She finished sixth in Melbourne in 2006 and fifth in New Delhi.
While Birmingham and Kathryn Mitchell are Ballarat based, Victoria Mitchell’s ties with the city extend back to when she spent time living in Ballarat and competing as a Eureka Athletic Club member.
Victoria Mitchell finished fourth in the 3000m steeplechase in the 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games, but missed selection for India.
Australian team Chef de Mission Steve Moneghetti, of Ballarat, said it was fantastic to see such large numbers.
This comes first from the sport giving the athletes the opportunity and second from the athletes taking advantage of the opportunity,” he said.
“The Commonwealth Games has often been the first multi-sport team experience for young athletes and many ... fall into that category.”
The Games run from July 23 to August 3, with track and fields July27-August 2.