'Bittersweet' Commonwealth Games fuels Anneliese Rubie's dream
Annaliese Rubie has always been a dreamer. That's why she isn't afraid to say she wants to be the best in the world.
An epic Commonwealth Games on home soil was "bittersweet" - she didn't get the result she was after, but Canberra-born star Rubie now has more belief than ever.
Rubie ran seventh in the Commonwealth Games 400 metre final after she clocked 52.03, having posted a personal best of 51.51 to qualify, while she finished fifth in the 4x400m relay.
The 26-year-old woke up a day later with mixed emotions - she had realised a dream by competing in a Commonwealth Games final, but it didn't pan out the way she had always wanted it to.
That mattered little in the end, because the emotion that rung loudest for the Canberra-born star was pride. Now she refuses to give up on her dream of winning gold on the biggest stage.
She knows it won't come today and it won't come tomorrow. But Rubie is a dreamer, and she will give her all to make it happen.
"It definitely makes me want it more and I’m not afraid to say that’s what I’m going for," Rubie said.
"I think having the opportunity to race with a home crowd, it puts you in a better position, that’s for sure.
"It was amazing to run in a final and it was such a high-quality field, it was almost the same level as an Olympic championship final so I was really to be happy to be running in that sort of field.
"But at the same time I just wish I backed up a tiny bit better from the semi-final. I’d had such a huge run the night before in the rain and everything, and I really was hoping to run just that tiny bit quicker in the final, but I was still really pleased with how I ran and how I held my own against such a high-quality field.
"[In the final] I really just tried to soak up every single noise and everything that was happening. I just got goosebumps standing there, as soon as they mentioned anything about Australia the crowd would just go nuts.
"You couldn’t help but just get this surge of energy when the volume just raised the roof."
Rubie is fittingly coached by Cathy Freeman's old mentor Peter Fortune and it was the former that inspired her to chase gold.
Rubie was just eight years old when Freeman's 400-metre dash at the Sydney Olympic Games brought an entire nation to its feet.
Almost 18 years on she is modelling every movement on Freeman's gold medal-winning run in a bid to follow suit, and the next generation is looking up to Rubie as a role model.
"I can only imagine the pressure and the hype surrounding her in the Sydney Olympics, that must have been insane," Rubie said.
"The way she handled that in itself was an achievement, not just winning the medal, just getting to the start line. I understand a little bit more about how amazing her achievement was.
"It was also really cool getting messages from kids that have travelled to the Gold Coast to watch, and even people that weren’t into athletics before that are now athletics fans.
"It’s really nice to know that this inspired the next generation. It’s a bit crazy to think that people are now looking up to us, and it doesn’t seem that long ago that we were looking up to the Cathy Freeman’s of the athletics world not that long ago.
"Hopefully it will inspire them and they keep training hard, I’m sure a lot of them will be competing at the next level in not too long."