16 May 2011
ROUND UP: Shanghai Diamond League, Sydney Half Marathon, National Team selections
Shanghai Diamond League
Dani Samuels (Westfields) had a promising start to the Diamond League season with third in Shanghai. The winner was Croatia’s European champion Sandra Perkovic who was consistent around the 65m mark in her three valid throws in the competition restricted to only four throws. Second was Asian games champion, Li Yanfeng (China) who threw 62.73m. Samuels started solidly with 59.40m, fouled her second throw, then hit 59.16m on her third attempt. Going into the final round, she was lying in eighth, but moved up to third with a throw of 61.98m. One of her major threats to Samuels in her World Championships defense will be Cubian Yarelis Barrios who fouled all her throws in Shanghai.
Denis Knowles, coach of Dani Samuels, was happy with the performance.
“It took three throws to get it together and thus ran out of throws, but third in this company is very good. We are on track.”
In the men’s long jump Brisbane’s Mitch Watt equalled his world lead with a jump of 8.44m and nears the national record of 8.49m. Fabrice Lapierre (Westfields) continued to struggle with his run up and fouled three times.
Sydney Morning Herald Half Marathon
First NSW athletes in the 2011 Sydney Morning Herald Half Marathon were Harry Summers (Randwick Botany) and Belinda Martin (St George). Martin placed second to Victorian Nikki Chapple, clocking a two second personal best time of 77:04, smashing the NSW masters 35+years record. Summers placed third in the men’s section, as Canberra-based former Novocastrian, Martin Dent, took the win in 65:00. Summers clocked 65:54 in what was a virtual rerun of the 2010 race where Dent won in 64:28, with Summers second in 64:45. First junior was Francis Torok (Randwick Botany) in 74:29.
In the wheelchair race, Kurt Fearnley (Macquarie Hunter) dipped under 60, stopping the clock at 59:23 and defeated his training partner, Christie Dawes (Macquarie Hunter) in 67:50, with Canberra’s Richard Nicholson third in 70:22.
Australian Team – IAAF World Championships
This week, three NSW athletes were added to the Australian team for Daegu. Courtesy of her superb 10,000m time of 31:43.31 in Stanford last week, Eloise Wellings (Sutherland) has been named in the team. Wellings, 28, wins selection in her 12th, but first major, Australian team. Wellings had previously represented at the World Youth, World Juniors, World University Games, Commonwealth Games, World Cross Country and World Cup.
Marathoner, Jeff Hunt (Randwick Botany), will run the 26 miler in Daegu. Hunt, also 28, is a former junior steeplechaser who competed in the Delhi Commonwealth Games marathon. Laura Whaler (Macquarie Hunter) confirms her good season with selection in the 4x100m relay team. Whaler, who struggled with injury at the nationals, was back to her best three weeks later, when competing in Kawasaki Japan, where she assisted the Australian team to a World Championship qualifier.
Australian Team – Oceania Championships
Three regionally based NSW athletes, were selected in the Australian team for the Oceania Championships to be held in Apia Samoa in late June.
Ethan Milward (Mingara) will race the 400m, Madeline Powell (Mingara) in the 100m and 100m hurdles, while Lisa Spencer (Mingara) will defend her 400m hurdles title.
David Tarbotton and Ron Bendall for Athletics NSW
Image Laura Whaler NSW 100m winner (image courtesy of David Tarbotton)