Sarah Carli (athletics) has overcome more hurdles than most to make her Commonwealth Games debut in Birmingham. As a junior, Carli found great success on the track. After winning the Australian Schools 400m hurdles, the then 16-year-old travelled to Lille, running a 58.05 to place second at the 2011 World Youth Championships, the fifth fastest time in Australian junior history. Juggling a bachelor’s degree at the University of Wollongong alongside late nights working at Costco, injuries and other aspects of life, the Kembla Joggers Athletics Club hurdler wouldn’t improve her PB for the next seven years. Trading the commerce student life for a desk job and consistent training routine, Carli ran a PB 55.43 at the 2018 Canberra Track Classic. Falling short of a spot at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games, she continued to work at her craft. In her first race of the 2020-21 season, Carli ran a Tokyo 2020 qualifying time of 55.09, becoming Australia’s number 4 of all time. But in February 2021, Carli had an accident which required immediate vascular surgery to save the carotid artery in her neck. She was also told she needed to keep her heart rate below 120 beats per minute and not exercise for five months. With Tokyo 2020 in her sights, she jogged 100m in mid-April, secured her Olympic spot in June, and competed at Tokyo 2020 in July where she placed fifth in her heat in a time of 56.93. In 2022, Carli’s 400m hurdles results continue to climb, having won the 2022 NSW State Championship in February, Oceania Championships in June and weeks later, a tidy win and SB 55.66 in Liège, Belgium.
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