“I really wanted to comeback. I think I’m almost back at my old level. Now, I want to get better than my personal bests.”
The Netherlands’ Annette Roozen is fighting for one of five women’s slots available on the Dutch Athletics team that will compete at the London 2012 Paralympic Games.
Roozen, currently sitting in the sixth spot, just outside the qualification group, came to the IPC Athletics European Championships in Stadskanaal, the Netherlands last week eager to improve her resume to ensure a trip to London.
The 36-year-old veteran, who has competed in two Paralympics previously, took last year off, as she gave birth to her daughter.
She is back on the track this season, and despite a few bumps in her training, is hoping to return to her Beijing form, which resulted in silver medals in both the 100m T42 sprint and Long Jump F42.
“Now, I’m the oldest,” she said in regards to her team. “I really wanted to comeback. I think I’m almost back at my old level. Now, I want to get better than my personal bests.”
In her first event at the Championships on Tuesday (26 June), Roozen finished second in the 100m T42 sprint with a time of 16.67, behind Italy’s Martina Caironi, who clocked a new world record time of 15.89.
“I was very nervous and I didn’t sleep,” Roozen said. “I must be glad, but I really wanted the gold.”
The time in Stadskanaal puts her fifth in the 2012 IPC Athletics world rankings in the women’s T42 class. Both Caironi and Australia’s defending world champion Kelly Cartwright rank ahead of her.
She failed to medal in the Long Jump F42.
Although Roozen’s time in the sprint is good enough for qualification, there are only a select number of places on the Dutch squad.
Roozen now has to wait until the team is named on 17 July to see if she will be headed to London this summer.