5 Feb 2018
Sprinters highlight 121st State Championships
With less than two weeks to the Australian Championships, the 121st NSW Track and Field Championships were well placed to provide many athletes with their final hit out before the championships which double as the Commonwealth Games trials.
The shock of the championships was the performance of Anas Abu-Ganaba (CBT). He destroyed his 100m personal best, reducing it from 10.59 to a stunning 10.28, just outside the Commonwealth Games B qualifying standard of 10.28.
“To be honest I didn’t expect to run that fast, I thought I can run low 10.5s or high 10.4s but to run 10.28 was a massive shock to me,” Abu-Ganaba said. “I was in state of shock when the time came up, just collapsed in tears of joy. It was an unexpected run and the time was an unbelievable feeling. Now I know I can run that fast.”
In second was Isaac Ntimoah who at 35, was just 0.01 seconds outside his best with a time of 10.36.
On Friday evening, London world championships silver medallist, Dani Stevens, launched the discus out to 66.02m in her season opener. It is a distance that now is common place for Stevens, but it is still a standard only a half-dozen or so can throw in the world. She looks on track to defend her Commonwealth title.
The women’s 400m was a very close battle between Rio Olympian and national leader this summer, Anneliese Rubie, and 17-year-old Commonwealth Youth Champion, Bendere Oboya. Rubie held on to win in 52.43, edging Oboya who ran a personal best 52.48 and her second Commonwealth Games B qualifier.
Australia’s finest men’s high hurdler for the last decade, Nick Hough ran 13.51w, his fourth fastest time of his career but was foiled by a slightly over the legal limit wind of 2.6m/s.
Newcastle raised, but Queensland-based national discus recordholder, Benn Harradine had little trouble winning the NSW title with a throw of 59.83m. Harradine’s solid season opener has positioned him well to secure selection in his fourth Commonwealth Games team. Another with a win and in a good position for Commonwealth Games selection, is Sydney Uni half-miler Josh Ralph. He tuned but for the nationals with a time of 1:49.90.
At 27, Chloe Tighe (KEJ) is in the best form of her career. The talented teenager who didn’t run from 22 to 26 years and has battled injuries over the years, started to re-emerge with some races in the UK in 2016. A few 4:18-19 1500m runs last year in London, were surpassed with her tremendous NSW Champs win in 4:15.94 over the weekend in Sydney.
International T20 athlete, Stephanie Schweitzer (HIL) won a unique 200, 400m, 800m treble in the ambulant events. Her 400m was over a second quicker than her 2017 win, clocking 62.97. In the ambulant 100m, London Para-Athletics world Championships medallist, Erin Cleaver (MQH), just missed recording another Commonwealth Games B qualifier in the T38 100m. She ran 14.66 to claim the gold medal, just defeating Rio Paralympian Tamsin Colley (HIL). Another seeking Commonwealth Games selection, was T35 athlete Carly Salmon (KOR) placed third in her race running 17.52.
There was a very impressive standard in the men’s high jump with three athletes at 2.20m or higher. Malaysian pair of Lee Hup Wei and Nauraj Singh Randhawa both cleared 2.24m, with Lee taking the win on countback. In third was Rio Olympian Brandon Starc (PAR) with another CG B qualifier of 2.20m.
There was a tight finish between Bankstown Sports pair Jordan Gusman and Rorey Hunter in the 1500m with Gusman winning in 3:42.21. In fifth Jackson Sharp (BLM) clocked his second World U20 qualifier of 3:47.52.
There was another junior qualifier for the 400m champion, Central Coast’s Tyler Gunn, who ran a PB of 47.12.
Two 14-year-olds battled the women’s pen 5000m walk title with Allanah Pitcher (MIN) winning ahead of Emma Blanch (SGT) in times of 24:08.10 and 24:50.00 respectively. There was another teenage battle for the men’s shot put title as Sydney Uni’s Aiden Harvey grabbed the win with his fifth round effort of 17.33m, ahead of Commonwealth Youth Games champion, Alex Kolesnikoff (TRI) with 16.57m.
It was a welcome return to the podium to one of the most talented teenagers NSW has developed. Now 23, Elliott Lang (SYU) surprised with a win in the open javelin, with a PB of 72.08m, just ahead of training partner Rhys Stein (ASW) with 71.70m. In fourth Cameron McEntyre (SYP) recorded another World U20 Championships qualifier of 68.82m. Alex Hulley
Teenager Carley Thomas (UTN) won the 800m in a world junior qualifier of 2:04.54. In third was 15-year-old NSW South Coast athlete, Jaylah Hancock-Cameron ran her third personal best this season and has this summer reduced her best from 2:10.01 to 2:06.21. It was yet another Youth Olympic Games qualifier for Hancock-Cameron.
Larissa Pasternatsky (SYU) defended her state 200m crown and added the 100m clocking times of 23.67 and 11.70 respectively.
Running his second PB of the summer, Bryce Collins (UNSW) clinched the state 400m hurdles title in 51.31.
Asics Wests’ Sara Klein is running into form at the right time and has defended her state 400m title in a quick 58.26 seconds.
London Para-athletics World Championships competitor, Rae Anderson won an ambulant throws double, taking the javelin (24.72m) and discus (27.35m)
There were also CG B qualifier and impressive state title wins for Alex Hulley (hammer 63.46m), Angus Armstrong (pole vault 5.40m), James Nipperess (3000m steeple 8:41.74) and Victorian-based former NSW athlete Charlotte Wilson (3000m steeple 9:57.68).
There was another CG B qualifier for para-athletics world championship medallist, Erin Cleaver in the T38 long jump with a leap of 4.26m. She placed second in the ambulant event to junior international Holly Saunders.
Full results are here.
View a video of most races here.
David Tarbotton and Ron Bendall for Athletics NSW
Image: Anneliese Rubie right wins the 400m from Bendere Oboya (courtesy of Renay Parkinson)