Abbie Taddeo spent much of last week in bed with the flu, but that wasn't going to stop her from racing on her home track and defending her NSW 60 metre sprint title.
On Saturday Taddeo put the illness behind her to extend her reign as the queen of the 60m sprint, the 25-year-old winning her fifth-straight NSW title in the event.
Adding to the thrill of victory was the fact the Kiama Downs resident prevailed in front of her friends and family at Beaton Park.
"I came into this week of preparation feeling a little bit nervous due to the fact I'd been in bed with a head cold," Taddeo said. "I'm stoked to be able to get the win in front of a home crowd and defend my state title.
"I love racing here in Wollongong. With athletics based out of Sydney Olympic Park, it's nice to bring an event down to Wollongong and to have a home crowd and compete in front of my friends and family."
Taddeo's victory came on a night of quality racing at the Illawarra Track Challenge at the Kerryn McCann Athletics Centre, with Campbelltown's Anas Abu-Ganaba taking out the men's 60m title.
The NSW mile titles were also held on Saturday night, Lauren Reid winning the women's event and Will Austin-Cray claiming gold in the men's race.
Kembla Joggers' Sarah Carli contested the 400m sprint, the hurdler finishing second behind fellow Australian representative Bendere Oboya.
Taddeo backed up her victory in the 60m to take out the 100m event, the Illawong representative running a personal best time of 11.69 seconds in the process.
A hurdles specialist, Taddeo is confident her form in the flat races has her primed for further good results as the season progresses.
"I was not expecting to run a PB in the 100. Being sick, in the warm up I wasn't feeling good, but I just ran the race and it was a nice little shock, I'm stoked with it.
"It's very important to run well in the flat races, being a sprint athlete it's nice to know I have the speed in my legs, all I need to worry about is hurdling.
"It gives me confidence knowing I have some speed, now I need to translate that into hurdles races."
Now that she's racing with confidence, Taddeo has her eyes set on the NSW and Australian Championships in March and April, where she will make a push for Olympic selection.
"I just want to keep building. I've found some form to push out a few PBs over the sprint distances. I'll be opening up my season for the 100m hurdles in a few weeks.
"I'm looking to keep building towards the Olympic trials, my big goal is to place in the top three.
Fingers crossed I can run well and then hopefully I can go do some races overseas and try and gain Olympic selection."
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