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Van Dalen runs Olympic qualifier

San Diego Summer Nights Track and Field Series, Mesa College – 20 June 2012

Lucy van Dalen

Lucy van Dalen

Lucy Van Dalen shot into Olympic Games contention with a slashing run at the San Diego Summer Nights Track & Field Series.

Running for Stony Brook University, the former Wanganui Collegiate student ran 4m 5.76s, well inside the New Zealand Olympic qualifying mark of 4m 7s.

Van Dalen, 23, finished third behind Canada’s top 1500m runner, Nicole Sifuentes, who ran 4m 4.76s and American Anna Pierce 4m 5.42s.

Van Dalen dipped under the International Association of Athletics Federations B standard when she ran 4m 8.09s four days ago, which hinted she was capable of going under the qualifying mark.

Van Dalen said posting a qualifying time was a dream come true. “I am so excited to have run the Olympic A standard tonight,” she said. “The Lord’s strength helped me every step of the way and I couldn’t be happier with the result.

“This is definitely the best day of my life. If I get selected to represent New Zealand at the Olympics, I will be honoured and very humble to wear the black singlet on the world stage.”

She said that she knew that she could do it.

“I’d run 4 08 four days ago and so took a little more off – it’s kind of exciting. It was an amazing race, it was paced and there were six of us girls who were going for a fast time.

It couldn’t have been a better race really. I feel blessed to have got this A standard, it’s really exciting I couldn’t be happier really.”

Van Dalen will now forego the chance to qualify in the 5000m for London and concentrate only on the 1500m.

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