QUEANBEYAN’S only local hope in this year’s Women’s Gift will defy injury to line up in the $16,000 race.
15-year-old Andrea Thompson will be Queanbeyan Athletics’ sole representative in the city’s marquee track event this weekend.
And the Carwoola teenager will run despite already being booked in for surgery to repair torn meniscus in her knee next month; the result of a horse riding accident earlier this year.
“My mum and my coach didn’t want me to run but we talked about it and it didn’t seem very likely that I’d do a lot more damage [to the knee],” she said.
“If they thought I was going to hurt myself more I don’t think they’ve have let me run. I’m not going to be able to run for a while [after the surgery] though so I thought I might as well give it a shot; you don’t know what might happen.”
Despite her tender years, Thompson has already made a name for herself in junior athletics circles, winning two gold medals at last year’s Australian Little Athletics Championships in Hobart.
She was also the winner of the 2012 Queanbeyan Senior Girls Gift, a race she will be re-entering this year alongside the novice handicap and the Running of the Codes where she will be representing Queanbeyan Netball.
But Thompson is under no illusions that stepping up to take on the likes of two-time national 100m champion Melissa Breen and London Olympian Lauren Wells (nee Boden) will mark an entirely new challenge.
“Lauren’s such a high level athlete, I think I’d rather just watch her run than try to run against her,” Thompson said of her fellow Gift entrant and Australia’s reining 400m hurdles champion.