Lim-Prasad meets SEA Games qualifying mark
She had not competed in her pet event since the 2015 South-east Asia (SEA) Games due to injury, and encountered financial problems in the run-up to her current competition in Australia.
But, yesterday, Dipna Lim-Prasad turned adversity into strength when she clocked 1min 1.21sec to win the women's 400m hurdles at the Queensland Athletics Championships in Australia.
With the result, the 25-year-old full-time athlete has cleared the event's qualifying mark for the SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur this August, set at 1min 1.69sec.
"I was pretty nervous leading up to the race," she told The New Paper in a phone interview yesterday.
"This was my first 400m hurdles race since the SEA Games... I had an ankle injury in December 2015 and was unable to hurdle the whole of 2016."
While she hadn't been training well leading up to this meet, yesterday's race went well for Lim-Prasad, despite the strong winds.
"The race started out pretty smoothly, but I messed up the last bit and lost a lot of speed there," said the athlete, who clinched a SEA Games silver in the 400m hurdles in 2015 with a personal best and national record of 59.24sec.
"Overall, I'm happy, more relieved really, that I've qualified.
"Now it's just about gaining experience and getting back the feel of hurdling so that I'll be ready for the SEA Games."
Lim-Prasad believes she can rewrite her national mark this year, and is focused on getting her "feel" back through more races.
"My timing could've been better today," said the athlete, who will race in the women's 400m event today.
"I was expecting more from myself... But it's a step in the right direction and, considering everything, this race was better than expected in terms of its flow.
"I definitely believe I can better my personal best this year (in the 400m hurdles); where and when that happens depend on external factors out of my control."