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Hana Basic - 'Bull by the Horns'

Published Wed 07 Apr 2021

When Hana Basic was ‘doing life’ throughout her late teenage years and early twenties, it appeared as though another prodigious junior had been lost in the athletics wilderness. 

Whilst filling lanes on the domestic circuit and making the occasional final, Basic’s career loomed as a colossal waste of talent for an athlete of her caliber.

Entering the 2020/21 season, the sprinter’s best over 100 meters stood at the 11.64 seconds she mustered in 2014 as an 18-year-old – meaning the drought stood at over six and a half years. 

Fast-forward three months and Basic has etched herself into the history books as the fourth fastest woman in Australian history, with a shiny new personal best of 11.18.

Surprising? Maybe to some, but not to Basic.

“I ran 11.45 early in the season but we weren’t even close to being excited. We knew that was where we were supposed to be and that there was more to come,” she said.

“People think that this has all happened so quickly but for us we have had to be so patient. It’s gone so slowly because we knew what I was capable of this season.”

Coached by John Nicolosi, Basic’s newfound confidence was evident in the ensuing assault she launched on the domestic scene, sizzling her way down the straight with a series of eye-caching runs that established the 25-year-old as Australia’s premier female sprinter.

Such progress was inspired by some-soul searching during last year’s COVID-19 lockdowns, with the Victorian drawing one main take away from the period – “I could actually do something with this”.  

Basic proceeded to train the house down, or as she puts it, “take the bull by the horns”. 

The wild ride took her through to August – when a rediscovered passion for the sport went hand in hand with career best form.

The momentum has only built since then, with Basic set to reach maximum velocity at next week’s Australian Track and Field Championships where she firms as the hot favourite.

“It’s all systems go. My mind is on the national title, whatever else that comes with it would be absolutely incredible,” she said.

“It’s so exciting for Australian sprinting and especially females because we haven’t had the spotlight for such a long time, and with Mel Breen’s departure it’s time for the next generation to step up – which I think we seriously have this season.”

It is hard not to mention the Olympic qualifying standard of 11.15 or Melissa Breen’s 11.11 national record whenever Basic is coiled into the blocks, but such thoughts cause unnecessary pressure for the gifted sprinter.

“I try not to worry about the times because as soon as I do – that’s when it doesn’t come,” she said.

“I ran my best in Queensland because I felt so relaxed and ready.”  

It is a modest assessment of her performance at the Queensland Track Classic – where she clocked 11.18 in the heat before an 11.19 in the final proved she can repeat the dose.

Basic’s resurgence has been one of the feel-good stories of the season to date, with the outgoing personality embracing every second of the limelight and welcoming athletics fans along to be a part of her journey.  

Working three days a week in an office job along with two days a week at Wesley College, Basic is as happy as she has been after finding the perfect balance – and it is reflecting in her running. 

A national title would be a fitting culmination of her illustrious season, before she resets and hones in on booking her ticket to Tokyo. 

By Lachlan Moorhouse
Posted: 07/4/2021