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Page last updated at 17:48 GMT, Sunday, 27 June 2010 18:48 UK

Australia's Jana Rawlinson ponders switch to Britain

Jana Rawlinson
Rawlinson could soon be wrapping herself in a different flag

World champion hurdler Jana Rawlinson has made an informal approach to UK Athletics about switching allegiance from Australia, BBC Sport understands.

The 27-year-old's husband is British and she last ran for Australia at the 2007 World Championships.

In 2006 she reportedly said she wanted to leave Australia after a high-profile row with fellow athlete Tamsyn Lewis.

Athletics Australia (AA) said it "understood the situation" but was keen to keep the runner's eligibility.

Rawlinson, who won gold in the 400m hurdles at the 2003 and 2007 World Championships under her maiden name Pittman, is currently sidelined after Achilles surgery, and has endured a sometimes bizarre private life.

606: DEBATE

She married British hurdler Chris Rawlinson in 2006, the same year he himself was forced to retire through injury, before trying to make a comeback two years later running for Australia.

The couple split up in 2009, only for them to subsequently remarry earlier this year after their divorce had been finalised.

Following the break-up of her marriage, Jana Rawlinson underwent breast enhancement surgery, saying it was to boost her morale, only to have them removed earlier this year saying they affected her running.

She underwent knee surgery a week before the 2004 Olympics in Athens, throwing away her crutches in front of the media and declaring herself fit to compete, before finishing fifth.

Pittman's last major competition appearance for Australia was the 2007 world championships, with injuries ruling her out of the 2008 Beijing Olympics and 2009 world championships.

An Australian Olympic Committee said the committee had never prevented athletes from changing countries and would consider any request, but AA performance manager Eric Hollingsworth said she was Australian and he wanted her to stay that way.

"I'm a big fan of Jana's personally, as well as for what she's done for our country," he said.

"She's done great things for us, she's won medals, she's been a loyal servant from that point of view.

"Jana is one of ours. We still have all the time in the world for her."



see also
Rawlinson makes Olympic sacrifice
05 Jan 10 |  Athletics
Pittman-Rawlinson out of Worlds
26 Jul 09 |  Athletics
Hurdler Rawlinson to miss Games
09 Jul 08 |  Athletics
Pittman wins gold ahead of Brits
23 Mar 06 |  Commonwealth Games
Hurdler Rawlinson plans comeback
30 Nov 08 |  Athletics
Rawlinson ready for retirement
24 Mar 06 |  Commonwealth Games
Pittman drops coach for UK base
07 Jan 05 |  Athletics


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