By Sharon Mathieson
CANBERRA, June 18 AAP - Cathy Freeman should make adecision on her future that’s right for her and not foreveryone else, sprint king Patrick Johnson advisedtoday.
The Olympic 400 metre champion is 18 months into acomeback but is considering retirement from athleticsamid frustrating form and doubts about commitment to thesport.
But she is yet to make any firm decision on herfuture.
Johnson, who heads to Europe on Friday to prepare forthe upcoming world championships, advised Freeman totake her time in making her decision and not to becomepressured by outside influences.
Cathy at the crossroads and of course it's up to herto find it in her heart and to understand what she wantsto do,'' he said. People can have speculation as to what she’s goingto do but in the end she’s got to do what she needs todo for herself and her own happiness.
Hopefully she'll make the right decision that suitsher, not everyone else.'' However, Johnson warned Freeman to beware that desirescan change. It’s a hard one if you haven’t got the desire butanything you desire or want or hunger, it can go in upsand downs,’’ he said.
At the end of the day Cathy is the best person todecide what her future is.'' Johnson and Freeman, both 30 and both born in northQueensland, couldn't be at more opposite ends in theircareers. Johnson, also an indigenous Australian, holds themantle of the fastest man in the world for 2003 afterclocking 9.93 seconds over 100m last month. He's now aiming for a medal at the world championshipsin Paris in August. At the other end of the spectrum, Freeman recorded herworst 400m result in 10 years last month when she finishedfifth in a field of six in the United States, more thantwo seconds behind Mexico's world No.1 Ana Guevara. Should Johnson become the next Australian runner towin a world championship medal, he could overtakeFreeman as the darling of Australian track and field. But he declared that's where the comparisons would endbecause he did not plan to become an ambassador forindigenous people or become involved in the politics -ironic given Johnson is a diplomat with the Departmentof Foreign Affairs and Trade. Both me and Cathy are totally different,’’ he said.
She's a great athlete and she's already proven thatwith the gold medals. I’m just an athlete who’s trying to do the best Ican and I don’t see any comparisons really.
``She’s an inspiration to all Australians and formyself, I’m just trying to do a job and to run fast.’’