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Double delight for Aussie debutant

Bree Masters has shocked even herself by being named in two events for her maiden Commonwealth Games campaign in Birmingham.

The 27-year-old sprinter did not compete in an automatic qualifier for an individual event and yet she has been selected for 100m plus the 4x100m relay.

“To get an individual spot is very special,” she said.

“I was over the moon, that was what probably made me extremely happy. A lot of athletes strive so hard for that individual spot, it’s exciting.

“It was all up to the discretion of selectors for the relay. I just had to hope that they selected the relay to start off with and then selected me as a team member.”

Masters, who recently graduated from Bond University with a Bachelor of Communication, was at work when she found out she had made the 85-member athletics team. She was checking her phone ‘every two seconds’ when the confirmation email finally arrived.

“Pure excitement. I had to contain myself because it was all confidential for about a week and a half. I couldn’t share it with anyone until it was publicly announced. I had to keep it together, smile at my phone and I can celebrate now it’s been announced.”

Her efforts at the Oceania Championships in Mackay earlier this month secured her ticket to the UK. 

Her 4x100m women’s relay team consisting of Ella Connolly, Monique Quirk and Naa Anang collected gold, beating New Zealand by more than three seconds (44.06). In the 100m, Masters picked up silver (11.34) behind Auckland speedster Zoe Hobbs (11.09).

What makes her green and gold debut even more remarkable, is that only two and half years ago she was competing in beach sprints.

“I don’t think there is a word to describe it,” Masters gushed.

“It’s amazing and it was something that I always watched on TV and looked up to and never thought I would achieve it being in a sport that wasn’t a sport at the Commonwealth Games or the Olympics. Previously my biggest major meet was the world championships in beach sprint, and I don’t think that’s really going to compare to what I’m about to experience.”

Masters is unsure when she will be leaving for the Games, but she does know she will first head into a pre-camp in Tonbridge before athletics events begin in Birmingham on August 2.

“I want to perform at my best, I want to at least achieve a personal best, I think I’ll be happy with that. I want to go big and try to make a final, so never say never.”

Masters, who was part of Bond’s Elite Sport Program, said her university degree has ensured she is building a strong career away from the track in marketing and public relations.

“The University helped me set my life up for a future after sport. And now I’m working at LSKD [sportswear brand] who are helping me as an athlete and in the workplace.”

Masters will be supported at the Commonwealth Games by her Cronulla-based parents.

Unfortunately, fellow Bond alumni Alex Beck was overlooked by Australian selectors despite winning the 400m at the Oceania Championships in Mackay.

Although disappointed, Beck said he is looking forward to cheering on his mates.

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