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Watt wins long jump in Madrid

8 July 2012

ATHLETICS: Mitchell Watt has soared a wind assisted season best of 8.26m (w: +3.7) to win the men’s long jump at the IAAF World Challenge meeting in Madrid, Spain.

Battling tough conditions that saw tail winds rise as high as +5.7 m/s, Watt’s first jump was a foul before he hit 8.23m (w: +2.1) in round two and his winning mark in the third round.

Keen to conserve his energy for the Diamond League next weekend in London (GBR) and then in Monaco (MON), as well as being comfortable with the lead he held, Watt chose to sit out the final three rounds of competition.

Watt said: “I was here to practice getting out a big jump early as that is what I will need to do in London to advance easily to the final and that’s the result I’ve pretty much ended up with here tonight. It was a pretty good field and I came away with a win of about 20 centimetres so that’s pretty nice. 

“I’ve got the Diamond League in London next weekend and then Monaco and the Games so that’s why I sat out my last three, I figured there was no real need to waste too much energy in these windy and hot conditions and that should pay off in the long run.”

Watt was joined on the runway by Fabrice Lapierre. Lapierre hit 8.02m (w: +2.4) in the third round to finish 4th overall, but in what is a disappointing result for the 2010 world indoor champion he will not be eligible to compete at the 2012 Olympic Games.

Watt continued: “It will be just be me and Henry (Frayne) in London which isn’t the most ideal result for the team. It would have been fantastic to have Fabrice there, he is a fantastic athlete, but it wasn’t to be this time around unfortunately.”

Watt will compete at the Samsung Diamond League in London next weekend, before taking to the runway one week later in Monaco. He will then head to Tonbridge Wells with his Australian Flame teammates to prepare for the Olympic Games.

Joining Watt on the podium in Madrid was Tristan Thomas, who clocked 50.42 to finish third behind Justin Gaymon (USA, first 49.63) and Jack Green (GBR, second, 49.65) in the men's 400m hurdles.
Thomas said: “I’m not really happy with the run but I am not going to make excuses, I know that I am better so that’s what the next four weeks is about. I won’t be satisfied with just getting my team uniform for the Olympic Games and I want to make sure I get my race right so that I can deliver in London.”
In other results at the IAAF World Challenge in Madrid:

  • John Steffensen (NSW) crossed equal second in the men’s 400m in 46.45, with his Olympic 4x400m relay teammate Ben Offereins (WA) sixth overall in 46.55. The event was won by European champion Kevin Borlee (BEL) in a time of 45.09.
  • Dale Stevenson (VIC) hit a best mark of 19.02m to place 6th in the men’s shot put. His six throw series was opened with a foul, before 18.44m, 19.02m, another foul, 18.83m and a foul to close.
  • Olympic champion and Australian record holder Steve Hooker (WA) entered the men’s pole vault at 5.50m. Missing his first two attempts, he raised the bar to 5.60m and unfortunately failed on this third attempt.

Meanwhile in Huesden (BEL) at the KBC Night of Athletics, Kim Mickle (WA), who will compete at the Samsung Diamond League in London (GBR) next weekend, threw 60.77m to win the women’s javelin from Bora Nicet (ESP, second, 58.15m) and Sephora Bissoly (FRA, third, 53.24m).
Opening her account with 59.47m, the IAAF world championship finalist then threw three fouls before her winning mark and another foul to close.
In other highlights from the KBC Night of Athletics:

  • Craig Mottram (VIC) clocked a season best of 13:16.08 to finish 6th in the men’s 5000m, with David McNeill (VIC) also improving his quickest performance in 2012 to finish 7th in 13:18.60.
  • Tamsyn Manou (VIC) crossed the line in 2:01.57 to finish third in the women’s 800m behind a dominant Pamela Jelimo (KEN, first, 1:56.76, world lead) and Angela Smit (NZL, second, 2:00.76).
  • London-bound Joel Milburn (NSW) clocked a season best 46.16 to finish third in the men’s 400m. Local favourite Jonathon Borlee (BEL, first, 44.91) took line honours ahead of Manteo Mitchell (USA, second, 45.75).

Athletics Australia

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