SYDNEY-Kim Batten didn't make the finals of the Olympic 400-meter hurdles Monday night, but that doesn't bother her. She was still smiling after the race because she has a plan.
"I'm going to run one more year of track, set a world record and then I'm going to the WNBA," she said after finishing sixth in her semifinal race.
Batten is already the world record holder in the event but has been hampered by a bone chip in a toe joint for two years.
"I ran poorly," she said. "I wasn't race ready. I tried to be as much as possible. But you can't pack months and months of training into two.
"Deep down inside I knew that I had not done enough work and that was involuntary. I've always come to my races prepared and unfortunately due to circumstances with my foot for the last two years I just couldn't put in the work. There was no way around it."
Batten ran the race in 55.73, well off her world record of 52.61 set in 1995. The top qualifier for the Olympic finals was Atlanta gold medalist Deon Hemmings of Jamaica, in 54.00. The last of eight who qualified for the finals was Natasha Danvers of Great Britain, at 54.95.
Just missing the cut was Sandra Glover, of the United States, who ran 54.98.
The cold weather that moved into Sydney over the weekend might have affected Batten but she was not going to blame her performance on the weather.
"It does bother you some when it's cold," she said. "I'm used to hot and humid. So it does affect you. You're like going, I don't want to go through this. I'm not using it as an excuse. I'm just saying I didn't make the finals."
Batten, 31, a Georgia native who now lives in Tallahassee, Fla., said there is nothing more in track to hold her interest after next year's World Championships. She said she's serious about playing professional basketball.
"I'll be a shooting guard," she said. "I'm going to go home and play some pickup games. But not that much because I've got another year of track. So I don't want to get hurt. But I definitely want to work on my shooting.
"I played basketball every day in high school. Everybody from Rochester (N.Y., where she went to high school) knows that Kim Batten played basketball long before she ran track. So I want to give it one more try before I get too old. I want to get there before Marion (Jones) gets there, too."
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