A day after Kyle Cranston took the gold medal in the men’s decathlon, fellow multi-eventer and Australian Catholic University student Alysha Burnett takes a second-place position after her first day of competition in the heptathlon.
Opening her seven-event account with a 14.60 (-1.4) run in the 100m hurdles, Burnett then equalled her personal best in the high jump with 1.86m - a Commonwealth Games ‘B’ qualifier.
Finishing with a 25.92 (-0.2) run in the 200m, Burnett sits 141 points behind the current leader, Verena Preiner of Austria.
At just 20-years-of-age, Burnett became Australia’s youngest ever heptathlon national champion in April when she took the title with 5817 points.
After strong runs in the heats and the semi-finals of the 100m hurdles, Michelle Jenneke (The University of Sydney) pulled up in the final with hamstring soreness, jogging across the line for 8th place. Jenneke will now set her sights on preparing for the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games trials in February.
In the women’s 3000m steeplechase Paige Campbell (Charles Sturt University) ran an aggressive race to narrowly miss out on the medals, finishing fourth in 10:00.15. Studying a Bachelor of Physiotherapy, the 21-year-old ran a near three second personal best. The race was won by Tugba Guvenc of Turkey in a sprint finish. Stella Radford (The University of Melbourne) came home in 13th place with 10:36.36.
In the field, University of Southern Queensland’s Lara Neilson finished 6th in the final of the women’s hammer throw with 65.47m.
Fellow throwers William White and Liam O’Brien, both of whom hail from the University of Queensland, finished 7th with and 11th respectively in the men’s javelin final. The event was taken out by local-favourite Chao-Tsun Cheng on his final throw that broke the Asian record by over two metres (91.36m) leading to an explosion of celebration from the host nation.
Two-time IAAF world championships representative Nick Hough (The University of Sydney) eased through his heat of the men’s 110m hurdles, clocking a headwind time of 13.93 (-2.8) to book himself a lane in the semi-finals on Sunday.
Stephen Knuckey (RMIT University) also booked himself another run in Taipei, running second in his heat of the 800m in 1:52.47 to auto-qualify for Sunday afternoon’s semi-finals.
Both Hannah Joye (Griffith University Gold Coast) and Nicola McDermott (The University of Sydney) cleared the required 1.75m in the women’s high jump to advance to Monday evening’s final.
In the morning Jess Pickles (University of Queensland) lined up for the women’s 20km walk but was disqualified mid-race.