Keep your cool Kurt, says Elliott
By STEVE SPINKS
FORMER 1500m Olympic Champion Herb Elliott believes Mullumbimby's Kurt Mulcahy has to control his emotions if he is to excel at the World Athletics Championships in Japan later this month.
Elliott, who was guest speaker at the Far North Coast rugby union awards on Sunday, said that to succeed on the world stage requires an emotional balancing act.
"It is easier going into a race not being the favourite because there is less pressure on you," Elliott told The Northern Star. "The trick to being successful though is to be able to keep your cool.
"It's a balancing act to allow your emotion to help you run better, without allowing it to distract you."
Mulcahy, 18, is a member of the Australian 4x400m relay squad. He left home yesterday to head to a training camp in Bangkok, Thailand, before heading to Osaka for the competition.
"I don't know how he (Mulcahy) would be feeling," the Bangalow-based Elliott said. "But when I was a teenager I didn't take running too seriously.
"At that age you don't really know your own capabilities."
Mulcahy has exploded onto the Australian athletics scene in the last 12 months.
Twelve months ago, the teenager was nothing more than a talented schoolboy runner with a scholarship to rugby league club the Sydney Roosters.
Now he is on his first senior team and a genuine medal contender when mixed with the relay members of the 4x400m team that won a silver medal at the Athens Olympics and a gold medal at the Melbourne Commonwealth Games.
Making Mulcahy's rise more miraculous is the fact that he trains on a grass running track across the road from Mullumbimby High School.
"I love the fact that he trains on grass," Elliott said. "Running on tartan tracks full-time just seems to get athletes injured all the time. "I think more should do it."