PROUD Novocastrian Benn Harradine plans to base himself in Brisbane as he embarks on the long road towards becoming a three-time Olympian.
The giant discus thrower from Eleebana moved to the Sunshine State five weeks ago, where he has been training at the Queensland Sports and Athletics Centre and is looking to buy a unit.
Still recovering from a knee injury that needed surgery seven months ago, Harradine is building up for a competitive comeback.
And he sees Brisbane as the ideal place to launch his campaign for this year’s world championships in Moscow, the Glasgow Commonwealth Games next year and, ultimately, the 2016 Rio Olympics.
‘‘You have to be happy with your training environment and at 30 years old, I’ve probably outgrown the dormitory-style accommodation at the AIS in Canberra,’’ Harradine said yesterday.
‘‘Brisbane was the best option in terms of the all-round environment. Not just the physical environment, which is hot and humid like Rio will be, but also there is good support around me, good facilities, and I’m still able to get back to Newcastle and see my family and friends.
‘‘It’s good from all aspects.’’
Harradine insisted he was still ‘‘always a Novocastrian’’.
He said his knee was improving steadily but he was approaching the year ahead cautiously as he maps out a three-year plan towards Rio.
‘‘I haven’t been back in the circle that long,’’ he said.
‘‘I think I’ve done a week-and-a-half of full throws.
‘‘I expect to be back throwing more consistently in, say, four to five weeks. I’m going to slowly get into the season around the middle of May. I’ll probably start with the Shanghai Diamond League [starting May 25].’’
Harradine came 31st in the Beijing Olympics, after his preparations were disrupted by illness, and reached the final in London last year, in which he finished ninth.
He was the gold medallist at the Delhi Commonwealth Games and hopes to retain that crown in Glasgow.
‘‘The goal this year is just to get the body strong again ... I had a few issues last year and I don’t want to be dealing with that for another Olympic cycle,’’ he said.