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Steve Solomon secures Olympic berth

Posted: 14-Jun-2012 by Maccabi NSW

It’s official: Steve Solomon has secured his ticket to the London Olympic Games!

The 19-year-old former Maccabi football player will be a part of Australia’s 4x400 metre athletics relay team, after the team secured their world ranking ahead of the Games.

“It was mix of joy and relief,” Steve told Maccabi News.

“It’s been a long process, but it’s really, really elating to be named in the team.

“It’s such a big thing for my family and friends; I’ve received so many messages of congratulations.

“It’s been really nice to see the community supporting me.

“It will be really good to go over and represent not only my family and friends but my community as well.”

It’s been an anxious wait for the Aussie quartet of Solomon, Ben Offereins, Brendan Cole and Tristan Thomas. The top-16 countries qualify for the event, and they finally secured their spot this week.

“It was a long time for it to become official. It was just nice to have the pressure off,” Steve added.

“When all my mates, my family kept asking about it – it was like, yes (I’ll be going), but ...

“Now that we’re comfortably in the top 16, it’s a very nice feeling.”

How did the teenager cope with the wait?

“I embraced what everyone was saying,” Steve said

“I just knew what I needed to do, trained really well, my coach was writing excellent programs. Everything went just as planned.”

Now that all four runners have the pressure off their shoulders, they still also have the opportunity to nab an individual 400m spot.

“The hope is that I run very fast overseas, that can push me into an individual berth for London.

“It looks like I’ll need to run the A-qualifying time, which is good, because if I’m not running the A-time by London then I’m not going to be in the position - mentally and confidence wise -to succeed.

“Should I run the ‘A’ it will put me in a better mindset, that i can do some special things against formidable and excellent opposition.”

Steve has the World Junior Championships to compete in Barcelona, which he describes as “perfect preparation” three weeks before the games.

Olympics hype is only going to escalate from here. Now, for Steve, it’s all about staying focused and on task.

“I think the good thing is I’ve been mature in the sense that I know what I need to do.

“My coach has outlined my schedule, outlining what I have to do every day until I compete. That’s very re-assuring for me.

“Now I know what I have planned, I can focus on each session and each race before World Juniors and the Olympics. I’ll know: what do I want to achieve each race? Do I want to try something tactical, do something different? That’s something where I sit down with my coach – that’s how I keep focused.”

Mazel Tov Steve, and to his parents Michael and Lucille.

What a meteoric rise.

In 2009, it was the Maccabiah Games as a junior footballer.

Three years later, Steve will become an Olympian.

Chills up the spine stuff, that is.

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