Mucci full of confidence

Celeste Mucci (Athletics Australia)

Tara Murray

The move to focus just on hurdles is paying off for Celeste Mucci.

Having made a name for herself as a heptathlete, the Williamstown Athletics star made the decision to just to focus on the 100 metre hurdles in 2019.

Her rise in the event was halted by a knee injury which ended her chances of making the Tokyo Olympics. She had claimed the 2019 national title, while still competing in the heptathlon.

After working her way back from knee surgery, the 22-year-old will represent Australia at the Oceania Games.

Speaking after her selection, Mucci said she was thrilled to be part of the Aussie team again.

“It’s such a big team to make, especially after the last two years,” she said.

“I’m glad to be able to represent Australia again.”

For Mucci it has been a tough couple of years after making the decision to just focus on the hurdles.

An ongoing knee injury saw her undergo knee surgery in 2020.

It’s taken until recent months to get back to where she needed to be.

“The knee injury had hampered me for a couple of years and with athletics slowing down due to COVID-19.

“We then started progressing back up it. I rushed back for the Olympics and gave it a crack… It was disappointing not to be ready as they only come along every four years.

“We’ve done a lot of work since.”

Mucci said they had been focusing on small goals and getting her body back in shape to be able to handle the demands of international competition.

She said the decision to focus on hurdles was about having fun with her sport.

“I’m focusing on the hurdles for now,” she said. “In 2019 we made a real focus and decided to see how far we can go with hurdles before I look at possibly transitioning back to heptathlon down the track.

“The heptathlon added a lot of stress. Hurdles was my favourite event and I wanted to give it a good crack and do what I have fun with.”

Mucci said she would take a lot of confidence into the Oceania Championships which will be held in early June.

“I want to win the Oceania Championships,” she said.

“I want to come away with a personal best. If I can do both it will be special.”

As well as the championships, Mucci has one eye on the Commonwealth Games. She finished fourth at the Commonwealth Games in 2018 in the heptathlon.

“Hopefully I can make a second team,” she said.

“I still have to make the automatic qualifying time, but I’m down for the rankings, but I would like an automatic time as well.

“Where I’m ranked, I have the potential to get a medal.”