Bendere Oboya has sounded her arrival on the international athletics scene.
The 17-year-old from Pendle Hill won gold medals in the 400m and 4x400m at the Youth Commonwealth Games in The Bahamas late last month.
“When people say there are people born to run, I really think that running was for me,” Bendere said.
“When I was little, I’d sit with my dad and watch the Olympics and I’d look at the Ethiopian women and how strong they are and said one day I want to run.”
Bendere believes that these results have always been inside of her but she needed to find the right coach.
After going through school and Little Athletics, she linked with sprint coach Greg Smith in February 2016.
In the past 18 months, she has seen dramatic results.
Bendere has dropped 24 seconds off her time, setting new personal best times at almost every event.
The rapid improvement has rocketed the speedster into Commonwealth Games calculations.
Her gold medal winning 400m time of 52.69 seconds has made her eligible for selection at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.
“When I used to look at runners, people would say ‘my PB is a 52’ and I would wonder how,” Bendere said.
“Now I’m almost at those times and I think ‘how is this happening’. Anything is possible so it’s shocking but there is still room for improvement.”
Born in the Ethiopian city of Gumbela, Bendere and her family settled in Australia when she was three.
Although she remembers being inspired by watching Ethiopian runners, her drive to strive for new heights mainly comes from within.
“When I think about who inspires me, I want to be a new version of Bendere Oboya, a different runner,” she said.
“I don’t see myself like another athlete. You won’t see me in the first 200 but in the last 200, I look at myself and I just want to be the best Bendere Oboya I can be.”