Ipswich speedster focused on Oceania gold

AIMING HIGH:  Ipswich speedster Larissa Chambers is focused on making the 2016 Olympics after hopefully gaining selection in Australia’s Oceania Games team.

IPSWICH’S most promising runner Larissa Chambers has never taken a backward step.

She’s talented, ambitious, positive and rich in personality.

Those qualities are why the Aboriginal achiever regularly wins medals at state, national and international level.

However, with another club athletics season over, the teenage speedster is already looking ahead.

She wants to again qualify for Australia’s team heading to Tahiti in June for the Oceania championships.

Chambers represented Australia in Cairns last year, winning three medals.

She collected Oceania gold in the 200m and as part of Australia’s 4x100m relay team.  The Ipswich and District Athletic Club competitor won a silver in the 100m, just missing gold.

However, fresh from a spate of recent success, she’s hungry for more top-level competition.

“Things are going extremely well actually,” the highly regarded sprinter said.

Chambers recently won a silver medal in the 4x400m relay at the Australian Youth Championships in Perth.

She returned home to add a 200m silver and 100m bronze to her collection at the Queensland open track and field championships.

That was her first time in open company at state level.

Having enjoyed last year’s Oceania titles experience, she’s hoping to make the next team being named later this month.

As she thrives on open competition, her longer-range goal is making the 2016 Olympics in Rio.

“Because of my times, I’m usually bumped up into the older age groups,” Chambers said, eyeing future 100m, 200m and hopefully 400m opportunities.

“This year has definitely been full on.”

But turning 18 in November, she’s ready to chase her Olympic, Commonwealth Games and Oceania selection dreams.

“It would be really good to see some sprinters in the 1(00) and 2(00) from Australia.  We haven’t had one since Melinda Gainsford-Taylor,” Chambers said.

Repeating year 12 at Springfield Anglican College, Chambers is keen to complete her schooling.

However, athletics is what drives her forward.  “I’ll be happy when I finish it (school).  Just get back into the training for Rio in a few years time,” she said.

The Ipswich athlete is keen to run in next month’s annual One Mile Gift foot race on the sand track at Ipswich racecourse for experience and as part of her training.  She said the event would help with her plans to run more 400m events.

“I want to see how I go in that because many coaches have been saying I’m definitely a 400m runner,” she said.

Like other athletes pushing themselves to higher goals, Chambers has been troubled by a stress fracture in her back and recent hamstring tightness.

But with strong family support, she takes it all in her stride.

“It’s all good now, all fine,” she said, enjoying a short rest this week.  “I just have to try and be careful.

“I’m getting ready to get back into training next week.”

During her time away from Bill Paterson Oval sessions, she likes seeing friends and going fishing, especially with dad Charlie.