After a string of setbacks, Taneille Crase was grappling with the possibility of never returning to athletics, but one phone conversation with her coach; Olympic gold medalist and Australian icon, Glynis Nunn, was all it took to reignite her Commonwealth Games dream.

The 27-year-old Chambers Flat heptathlete had taken an eight month break after she battled mentally and physically with severe injury in early 2020, and the strain of Nunn’s personal health battle and the pandemic took their toll.

“When Covid hit, I had a really bad injury in my big toe and my coach Glynis got really really sick as well, so I decided to take a break from the sport. I decided to just work full time and study and live a bit of a normal life, I guess you can say,” Ms Crase said.

“But at the end of 2020 Glynis called me up and said; ‘look, are you coming back to athletics? Are you going to go for the Commonwealth Games, because you either need to get into gear now and start focusing on it or you can pretty much wave it goodbye.’”

Ms Crase knew she was comfortable, but not satisfied, so she threw herself back into training full time under the close guidance of Nunn, and as she prepares to debut in Birmingham tonight, she says her found focus “definitely paid off”.

“My training leading into the Commonwealth Games has been phenomenal. This is probably the best preparation I’ve had leading into a competition ever,” she said.

“It just shows that the hard work and determination, and every little 1% that I’ve put in over the last couple of years has finally paid off and I just can’t wait to wear the green and gold and make Australia proud.”

Ms Crase’s recent return to the heptathlon saw her win gold at the 2021 Australian Athletics Championships with 5304 points after just six months of training and back-to-back in 2022, winning gold with 5759 points.

Months later she produced a PB score 5945 points at the 2022 Oceania Championships in Mackay and was crowned the ninth best in Australian history.

While she admits she’s “a little bit nervous” and “a little bit uncertain” about what the atmosphere will be like on the world stage, she’s got experience on her side.

“My coach and I have been approaching this as if it’s just like any other heptathlon– it’s just another day at the office, or another day on the track and just thinking about going through the motions; going through each event, nothing is different,” she said.

“Glynis is somebody that has been there done that– she’s experienced all of this as an athlete herself, so I’ve been so grateful to have her on my side and on my team because she gets to put all that knowledge on to me and it’s helped a lot.”

Ms Nunn, who was the first ever Olympic Champion in the heptathlon, is the Brisbane 1982 Commonwealth Games gold medallist and Los Angeles 1984 Olympic Games gold medallist. In 2020, she spoke out about her saddle pulmonary embolism diagnosis, which almost killed her.

“I’ve been coached by her for the last six years and the relationships that we’ve formed together, as a coach and athlete has been incredible,” Ms Crase said.

Ms Crase’s strengths among the seven events includes a 100m hurdles PB of 13.43, a long jump best of 6.17m as well as comparatively strong results in the 200m and the high jump.

Her first event will kick off at 7pm on Tuesday August 2.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.