On day four of the Australian Track & Field Championships being held at Sydney Olympic Park in Homebush, action commenced in the senior events, while rain fell late in the day.
The women’s para ambulant long jump event attracted a strong field across the disability categories. The eventual winner was Summer Giddings (NSW) a F35 cerebral palsy classified athlete. She leapt 3.00m in round two. It was a welcome back to competition for world champion Carlee Beattie (QLD) who has been injured and busy with work at GOLDOC – the organising committee for the Commonwealth Games. Off a short run up, she was pleased with her three very consistent efforts: 4.97m, 5.00m and 5.00m. Also in the competition was Rio Paralympic champion and double leg amputee Vanessa Low (ACT), who cleared a best of 4.85m. Single leg amputee, Sarah Walsh (NSW), who has been over five metres this summer, fell short with 4.78m in round four.
In the women’s javelin qualifying round, Kelsey Barber (ACT) required just one launch of the 600 gram implement to secure her second 2019 world championship qualifier from as many competitions. Barber’s distance of 62.00m, was just below her season opener last week in Brisbane. In the other pool, Commonwealth champion, Kathryn Mitchell also took just one throw to proceed with a throw of 58.60m.
The combined events are at their mid-way point with Commonwealth Games team mates dominated each event.
In the men’s decathlon Cedric Dubler has had a solid day with performances of 10.97 (100m), 7.53m (long jump), 12.21m (shot), 2.01m (high jump) and 48.63 (400m) for a total of 4120, ahead of NSW’s Alec Diamond on 3953 points. His highlights have been a 7.50m long jump and 14.04m shot. World U20 Championships decathlon champion, Ash Moloney (QLD) unfortunately had to pull out as he tore his hamstring. He had had a great start, running a very quick 100m of 10.54, just outside his PB.
Leading the women’s heptathlon is Alysha Burnett, just 31 points ahead of Celeste Mucci. Burnett has compiled a very good series of marks, all just outside her PBs. She started particularly well with 14.40 in the 100m hurdles, then cleared a tremendous 1.87m in the high jump, followed by 13.66m in the shot and 26.31 in the 200m. Mucci’s performances were 13.34, 1.75m, 10.84m and 24.59 for the same events. In a high standard event, just 100 points separates third to sixth places.
The women’s 400m was thrown wide open with a number of big names failing to start including Anneliese Rubie-Renshaw, Morgan Mitchell and Bella O’Grady, while Ellie Beer is running the U17 event. Safely through in the heats were winners Bendere Oboya (53.05), Ella Connolly (54.43) and Angie Blackburn (53.55). It wasn’t all smooth going, when one of the favourites, Caitlin Jones placed only fourth and snuck into the final as a fastest qualifier.
There was more trouble for the leading athletes in the men’s 400m heats with the fastest this summer, Tyler Gunn, just proceeding to the final as a fastest non-automatic qualifier. However Victorian champion and the third fastest this summer, Luke Stevens was edged out of the final, placing fourth in his heat. Favourite, Steven Solomon, just did enough to proceed.
· Rio Paralympic gold medallist Brayden Davidson (T36) won the men’s Para Ambulant long jump with an impressive 5.52m, while the longest leap was achieved by Nicholas Hum (T20) with his fourth round 6.72m.
· There was a meet record of 2:09.67 by Marie Celie Warneke in the under-15 girls 800m.
· In the under-20 men’s decathlon Victorian Seb Reyneke is compiling a special performance with four PBs on day one for a total of 3811 points. His bests have been 11.41 (100m), 6.74m (long jump), 13.86m (shot) and 51.34 (400m). In the other event, the high jump, he was just 1cm below his PB.
· Pole vault star from day one, Sasha Zhoya (WA) was untroubled taking the under-20 200m in 21.18, into a 2m/s wind.
David Tarbotton for Athletics Australia