Out of form and bereft of confidence, Australian record holder Melissa Breen figured it would take a miracle to make it out of the 100m heats at the world athletics championships on Sunday.
That miracle never looked like happening, with Breen trailing home second-last in her heat in 11.61 seconds – making it the fourth straight time at a global event where she has failed to advance to the semi-finals.
“I knew that it would probably take 11.20 to get out of the heats,” said Breen.
“I’ve really struggled ever since (the Stawell Gift in early April) to be honest – domestically was awesome but we really struggled to repeat that overseas.
“There was only one year we’ve been able to do that and that was London (in 2012).
“It just wasn’t meant to be.
“It just didn’t come together which sucks and it could be time for a bit of a break and then restart again.
“I am extremely motivated for next year and I have eight more years in this sport which is awesome but gee, it would be so good to get out of the heats at a major.”
Breen, 24, admitted it had been a mistake to remain in her home base in Canberra during the Australian winter, rather than head to Europe to pit herself against the world’s best.
“I’ve been going every year since I was 17 and I just wanted a break from that,” she said.
“I probably won’t be doing that again but I’m glad at least that I tried it.
“I really struggled (at the pre-championships training camp) in Japan this year, like really struggled mentally.
“I felt pretty good today but obviously I’m just not there.
“And that sucks – but it is just running and I didn’t have it today.
“That doesn’t mean I won’t have it next year.”
Breen broke Melinda Gainsford-Taylor’s longstanding 100m national record with a time of 11.11 last year and has a 2015 best of 11.26 – but significantly, both of those times were recorded early in the year on home soil.
Multiple Olympic and world champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce from Jamaica and rising US star Tori Bowie topped the qualifying charts with 10.88.
MEL BREEN’S SORRY RECORD AT MAJOR CHAMPIONSHIPS
* Eliminated in 100m heats at 2012 London Olympics
* Eliminated in 100m and 200m heats at 2013 world championships
* Eliminated in 100m heats at 2015 world championships
* Eliminated in 100m semi-finals at 2010 (11.78 seconds) and 2014 (11.45) Commonwealth Games.