| Track & Field Athletics
Australia by Graham
Profile - Jana Pittman
- 9 November 1982
Height 1.81 m Weight 67kg
Australian Institute of Sport
Coach - Phil King
Pittman, the former
World Youth 400m Hurdles Champion and World Junior Champion at 400m
and 400m Hurdles won two gold medals at the 2003 Commonwealth Games.
Still just 20 years
old, Jana is determined to complete her set of international gold
medals at the Athens Olympic Games in 2004.
Read Jana's Biography below.
In 1999, it was
apparent 15 year old Jana Pittman was a likely track star of the
future. Coached by Jackie Byrnes, along-side Olympic sprinter
Melinda Gainsford, Pittman qualified at two events (400m and 400m
Hurdles) for the year's World Youth Championships and showed
promising form in
other sprint and hurdles events. At
the Youth Championships, for athletes under 18, Pittman starred for
Australia, winning the 400m Hurdles and also made the final of the
times continued to improve during 1999 and 2000 and it became
apparent she would challenge for a place in the Sydney Olympic team
as well as the World Junior Championships. Competing in South
Africa, after the Australian season, Pittman equalled the world
junior record for 400m hurdles and she later won the Olympic trial
held at Stadium Australia, upsetting the favourite Lauren Poetschka.
did not make it past her heat in the Olympic event, but assisted the
Australian team in qualifying for the 4x400m relay final. Her
leg of 51.1 helping the team to break the national record, which had
stood for 24 years, with a 3-24.05 time.
went on to win a rare double over 400m and 400m Hurdles at the World
Junior event in Santiago. Her year ended with the IAAF 'Rising
her initial success, Jana showed indifferent form in 2001 and
reportedly considered retirement during an emotional year.
Injuries eventually kept her out of the 2001 World Championships and
affected her 2002 domestic season but she seemed to be improving,
under new coach Craig Hilliard at the AIS. At the national
titles she successfully defended her 400m Hurdles championship and
qualified for the Commonwealth Games team.
just 19, she ran brilliantly in her European campaign, setting a
huge personal best of 54.58 in Paris when she demolished a
high-class field. Further improvement came in the heat of the
Commonwealth Games when she sliced her PB to 54.14, the second
fastest time in the world for 2002. Pittman then backed up in
54.40 to take the Gold medal.
success came in the 4x400m relay team where Australia, with no
individual 400m runners entered, took the gold medal. A great
team effort from Lauren Hewitt (200m), Tamsyn Lewis (800m), Jana
Pittman (Hurdles) and a half-fit Cathy Freeman.
the Commonwealth Games, Pittman shocked many by leaving coach
Hilliard and relocating to Melbourne with new fiance Rohan Robinson,
the Atlanta Olympic finalist over 400m Hurdles. Robinson and
Pittman had coaxed Phil King, the husband and coach of 1988 Olympic
Champion Debbie Flintoff out of retirement to guide Pittman towards
her goal of an Olympic gold medal in Athens, in 2004.
at Mornington peninsula, with the Kings, Pittman showed substantial
improvement in the 2003 domestic series with a host of top
performances. She improved her personal bests over 100m, 200m,
300m, 400m and 400m Hurdles and thrashed Olympic champion Cathy
Freeman over 400m in their only clash of the season.
300m (36.34) was an Australian record (best) time, beating Freeman's
mark, and Pittman's improvement on the flat can only help
Australia's chances in 4x400m relay events at the World
Championships and Olympic Games.
is currently ranked #1 on the IAAF Merit Rankings for 400m Hurdles
and leads the world lists with her 53.76 PB from the Canberra
recently reported she had set a series of personal bests in training
at Mornington peninsula, which showed the potential for a full
further second of improvement over her 400m times.
Pittman will make a base in Zug, Switzerland, for the
European season and Jana is expecting to race over the hurdles in
numerous Golden League meetings across the continent. Her
first race will be in Oslo (June 27) but the tight tracks may not be
conducive to a particularly fast time. Debbie Flintoff's best
at Oslo (53.76 - leading into her Olympic campaign) may be a guide
to Pittman's form.
Jana will then race over 400m at the Lausanne meet (1 July) and
hopes to challenge world number one Ana Guevara, as this will be the
only time the two may race in 2003.
will then race in Paris (4 July) over the sticks and should break
the long standing national record set by Debbie Flintoff-King in
1988 (53.17) during her European campaign.
is possibly Australia's best chance of success at the Paris World
Championships and her clashes with 25 year old Russian, Yulia
Pechonkina, the world's best 400m Hurdler in 2002, will be a
highlight. Go Jana!
400m 400m Hurdles
2002 52.37 54.14
2001 51.74 55.93
2000 51.76 55.20
1999 51.80 56.23
2001, 2002, 2003
2002 World Cup 400m Hurdles
GOLD 2002 Commonwealth Games 400m Hurdles
GOLD 2002 Commonwealth Games 4x400m Relay
GOLD 2000 World Junior Champs 400m Hurdles
GOLD 2000 World Junior Champs 400m
GOLD 1999 World Youth Champs 400m Hurdles
Junior Record 400m Hurdles 2000 (55.20)
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