Lauren Boden sized up for an Olympic Games uniform as she prepares for athletics world championships

The best may be yet to come for Lauren Boden. Picture: Dion Georgopoulos
The best may be yet to come for Lauren Boden. Picture: Dion Georgopoulos

Lauren Boden's imagination runs wild as she gets sized up for an Olympic Games uniform and ponders the prospect of wearing it in search of a gold medal.

The Tokyo Games have always been in the back of her mind - even when she took a small step back from athletics - and she will hunt for a qualifier at her fifth world championships.

Boden will link up with the Australian team for the 400 metre hurdles and 4x400m relay in Doha later this month.

Boden recently returned to hurdles for the first time since early May after overcoming a niggling calf and Achilles problem which imposed a six-week layoff from running.

The 12-time national 400 metre hurdles champion will continue to balance athletics with her full-time job as a school teacher on the road to Tokyo.

For Boden it only seems logical - a small step back from athletics coincided with a personal best time of 54.87 seconds at the Australian titles in April.

Now she has set her sights on carrying that form onto the world stage - one that is beginning to feel very real after being sized up for an Olympic uniform.

"It's always an exciting time just to imagine that is what you will hopefully be wearing in 11 months' time," Boden said.

"It makes it all feel a little bit more real, but at the same time, we've got a lot to happen between now and then. Qualification will be the first box we need to try to tick.

"The Olympics is the absolute pinnacle of our sport and it deserves all of the respect it gets. Just to qualify is tough, and it is obviously a huge honour to represent your country anytime.

"For me, my work is not going to change. I'm going to continue to teach full-time and train full-time as much as I can.

"At the moment everything is working out quite well and I am able to manage everything.

Lauren Boden has set her sights on the world championships in Doha. Picture: Sitthixay Ditthavong

Lauren Boden has set her sights on the world championships in Doha. Picture: Sitthixay Ditthavong

"Nothing is really going to change in terms of that work-life balance leading into next year.

"It's just a matter of keeping things consistent and rolling along as they are now, and trying to get the same results during the season and using that to push for an Olympic final next year."

But first Boden has a world championship tilt in Doha on the horizon.

The Matt Beckenham-coached star will look to rediscover her rhythm over the coming weeks with a stint in Cairns for the Australian team championships next month looming large.

Boden will fly to Doha in late-September before opening her world championship campaign on October 1.

She will join Canberra duo in world No. 2 javelin thrower Kelsey-Lee Barber and 4x100 metre relay team member Melissa Breen at the world championships.

The Tokyo Olympic Games remains in the back of Lauren Boden's mind. Picture: Jamila Toderas

The Tokyo Olympic Games remains in the back of Lauren Boden's mind. Picture: Jamila Toderas

"Tokyo is always in the back of our minds given it's less than a year away now," Boden said.

"We know every time we step out on the track, times can count as qualifiers. Ideally going into Doha, it would be nice to get that qualifier done.

"Obviously at the same time, I know my preparation has been a little bit different to every other year.

"If I can just try to simulate some of the form I found during the season, I'll be pretty happy with how that turns out."

This story Boden sized up for an Olympic uniform first appeared on The Canberra Times.