After three years out with serious back and ankle injuries that threatened to bring a premature end to her career, Australian sprint star Michelle Jenneke is set to make a sensational return to action at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.
The athlete gained an international following thanks to her famous pre-race dancing, while she also has a fanbase thanks to her career as a model. Jenneke managed to overcome her injury troubles to secure a spot in Australia’s 85-strong team travelling to the UK for the Games, which officially begins with the Opening Ceremony tonight.
Jenneke impressively came second in the 100m hurdles at the Music City Track Carnival in Nashville as well as the Oceania Athletics Championships in Queensland earlier this month. She also recorded a season-best time of 12.95 seconds in Mackay, and such performances have ensured she will represent Australia this month.
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“This one is special. To be back representing my country after a few years of injury is honestly pretty unbelievable,” the 29-year-old wrote in a post on Twitter.
“Huge thank you to my team who stuck with me during some tough moments and have made this season possible. Proud to be back in the green & gold at my 3rd Comm Games.”
Jenneke surged to fame at the 2012 World Junior Championships in Barcelona, when her ‘jiggling’ dance before races went viral. She has said in the past that the dance, which does not define her, puts her in a ‘good physical and mental space’.
What do you make of Michelle Jenneke's pre-race dance? Let us know in the comments section.
However, Jenneke – who graduated from the University of Sydney with a Bachelor of Engineering recently – received plenty of criticism when she crashed out of the Rio Olympics despite her place as one of Australia’s brightest medal hopes. After the 2016 Games, she said: “People can be very quick to build you up and then cut you down, but they don't know what's going on behind the scenes… a range of factors go on that affect performance.
“People think that by doing my dance I'm trying to draw attention to myself. I'm not.”
Over the last few years, Jenneke has struggled for fitness amid hamstring, ankle and back injuries while she has posted videos of her recovery and rehabilitation to her social media accounts. She has over 500,000 followers on Instagram.
Jenneke joins Celeste Mucci and Liz Clay as the Australian entrants in the women’s 100m hurdles. Australia’s team is headlined largely by 100m star Rohan Browning, 800m runner Peter Bol and long distance contenders Linden Hall and Jessica Hull.
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