Alex Beck is a veteran of the track in Australia, but he has never raced in an individual event at the World Athletics Championships. That will change next Sunday when the 30-year-old lines up in the 400m in Eugene, Oregon.
After being overlooked by selectors for the upcoming Commonwealth Games Beck feels vindicated by his solo inclusion.
“It makes the hurt of missing out a bit easier. The fire is still there, and I am still really determined to represent my country and run the best I can,” said Beck.
“Worlds is obviously the best athletes globally so to be able to verse them in that arena is really special.
“Hayward Field is a magical place to run, arguably one of the best surfaces in the world and with 20,000 screaming American fans, it’s going to be unreal. I’m just excited to run in front of people again.”
Beck’s gold in the 400m at the Oceania Championships in Mackay last month secured his ticket to his third World Championships. Previously he has only raced in relays. Unfortunately, his relay team did not quality for Oregon.
When he checked the World Athletics website, he was relieved to discover he was ranked 37, safely inside the top 48 athletes in contention to be nominated by the governing body.
He experienced the thrill of an individual 400m event at the Tokyo Olympics, running a personal best (45.54 seconds) narrowly missing out on the semi-final.
“Last year before the Tokyo Olympics I ended up 46 out of the 48 athletes in the world which was really stressful to say the least,” Beck reflects.
“This year I had more of a buffer which, after the experience of last year, was actually quite nice to have some breathing space.”
Beck has two degrees from Bond University: a Bachelor of Exercise and Sports Science and a Doctor of Physiotherapy.
“The average age of the Australian team is 26 so there is quite a lot of us that have been to uni and have jobs and are in the real world,” he said.
Beck who works at City Coast Physio at Somerset College, is currently in Seattle preparing for the World Championships, alongside fellow Bond alumna 100m sprinter Bree Masters.
After his campaign he will still travel to Birmingham where he plans to be a “vocal” member of the Aussie crowd.