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Another qualifier for Samuels, as Rutherford wins long jump

18 March 2013

ATHLETICS: Dani Samuels (NSW) has thrown yet another IAAF World Championships A-Qualifier to win the women’s discus at the Go for 2&5 Perth Track Classic, as three of her Australian Flame teammates achieved B-Qualifiers and Greg Rutherford (GBR) won the much-anticipated men’s long jump.
 
Samuels, who threw five throws beyond the IAAF World Championship A-Qualifier at the Sydney Track Classic last weekend, continued her form with a 62.72m throw.
 
Opening her account with 60.86m, Samuels series was consistent with her remaining throws of 59.66m, 59,88m, 61.06m and a foul leading to her winning mark in the final round to take victory from Kim Mulhall (Vic, second, 52.17m) and Taryn Gollshewsky (Qld, third, 51.58m)
 
The 2009 world champion Samuels now has two A-Qualifiers for the IAAF World Championships and need simply win the women’s discus throw at the Australian Athletics Championships to ensure her spot on the Australian Flame team in 2013.
 
Joining Samuels in the mix for IAAF World Championships selection after achieving B-Qualifiers tonight was Liam Zamel-Paez (Qld, high jump), Kim Mickle (WA, javelin) and Alana Boyd (Qld, pole vault).
 
Zamel-Paez, who has missed much of the last two Australian seasons as a consequence of injury, soared a new personal best of 2.29m to win the men’s high jump and record his first qualifier.
 
A 2010 Commonwealth Games representative and three-time national champion, Zamel-Paez sailed over 2.10m, 2.16m and 2.21m before passing until his winning mark to edge out IAAF World Junior Championships representative Brandon Starc (NSW, second, 2.23m).
 
Returning to the thrower’s runway after a monster 62.53m best effort at the Sydney Track Classic, Mickle as a Western Australian was a local draw card at the Go for 2&5 Perth Track Classic. Keen not to disappoint her home crowd, she hurled 60.11m with her third throw to take a clear victory from Australian under 20 champion Wasie Toolis (Qld, second, 45.12m).
 
Mickle has spent much of the past fortnight training lightly while she competed at the first two legs of the Qantas Australian Athletics Tour, but this week will see a return to base work ahead of the Australian Athletics Championships.
 
“Any competition with a six as the first number is a good result. We’ve taken the foot off the pedal these past two comps and to see some bigger throws as a consequence is a good result,” Mickle said.
 
“Sydney last week was better than I could have expected at this time of the year, that was where I wanted to find myself at Nationals and that’s exciting. The Nationals is the next stop for me and hopefully my throws after some tough training will be out somewhere around my PB.”
 
Boyd’s start in Perth was her first since returning home to Queensland to train under the guidance of her father Ray Boyd.
 
Relishing the still conditions, the Australian record holder entered the competition last at 4.25m before battling it our with 2012 Olympic debutant Liz Parnov (WA, second, 4.40m) at 4.50m to win. Boyd’s third attempt clearance cemented her success, but when the bar was raised to the IAAF World Championships A-Qualifying mark of 4.60m she stumbled.


“It’s another B-Qualifier but I wanted more, it was a little bit rusty to be honest. My preparation hasn’t been great considering tough training conditions at home but I felt good on the runway and I’m sure my velocity and other factors will come together in the next few weeks,” Boyd said.
 
“Theoretically what I have done to date and a win at Nationals would be enough for selection to Moscow. That’s not good enough in my opinion though, I jumped higher last year and I am in no way worried that it isn’t around the corner.”
 
In a disappointing result, Olympic silver medallist Mitchell Watt (Qld) was forced to withdraw from the men’s long jump after experiencing cramp as he ran in to jump.
 
This left the British record holder and Olympic champion Greg Rutherford (GBR) to battle it out with Commonwealth Games medallist Ignisious Gaisah (GHA) across the six-jump series, with Rutherford soaring 7.89m (w: 0.0) to narrowly defeat the Gaisah (7.76m, w: 0.0).
 
“This is very disappointing. Obviously so many people were looking forward to seeing me jump against Greg tonight and for me I was keen to close out a long preseason and get back to jumping,” Watt said.
 
“My calf just cramped up when I got out there. That’s how I have injured myself in the past, and I wasn’t going to risk the big picture of 2013 tonight. I’m not injured which is one good thing to take out of it. Realistically this cramping today will be gone soon and I will head back to Brisbane and try to establish why this has happened and how to fix it.
 
“I’ll chat to my coach and see what happens with my season, I may add in the Queensland Track Classic next week if my body allows for it to prepare to jump against Greg again at the Melbourne meet.”
 
“I would have loved to jump against Mitch because he is one of the best in the world and it’s a shame we couldn’t deliver. We have Melbourne though so fingers crossed we can do something great there,” Rutherford added.
 
“In some ways I felt like I had forgotten what to do when I got out there. The first two jumps were messy and when the 7.89m came I was a bit surprised. It’s good that I found my footing and with a few more weeks of training I hope to find something bigger.”
 
On track, 2011 IAAF World Championship representative Anneliese Rubie (NSW) edged closer to the women’s 400m qualifying mark for the IAAF World Championships when she crossed in 52.89 to win.
 
A new personal best, Rubie’s performance is her first below the magic 53-second barrier and edges her closer to her first open age individual berth on the Australian Flame team with races at the Qantas Melbourne World Challenge and the Australian Athletics Championships to come in the next month.
 
“I’m getting there. I’m very excited. It’s only the middle of the season, I have pretty much done a PB every time I have raced and I couldn’t be happier considering I am most comfortable running in Melbourne and Sydney and events there are still to come,” Rubie said.
 
“The individual spot for the World Championships is my ultimate goal this year. I will be trying my hardest to make it happen. I’ve got the qualifiers for the 200m and 400m for the World University Games already so that's an option, and so is a few months in Europe where it is just so different to race.”
 
In other highlights:
-        Entertaining the more than 4000 strong crowd for most of the main program, British record holder Steve Lewis (GBR, 4.60m) won the battle in the men’s pole vault, with former world champion Brad Walker (USA, 5.50m) second and 2008 Olympic champion Steve Hooker (WA, 4.35m) third.
-        Linda Leverton (Vic) leapt 13.79m (w: -0.1) to win the women’s triple jump as part of the National Athletics Series for a second time this season. Her performance is her second best jump ever.
-        Australian 100m and 200m champion Josh ‘the Boss’ Ross won the men’s 200m in a time of 20.97 (w: -1.1), while international charge Calesio Newman (USA) took line honours in the men’s 100m in 10.37 (w: -1.2).
-        Olympic semi-finalist Lauren Boden (ACT) and 2011 American champion Jeshua Anderson (USA) won the women’s and men’s 400m hurdles in 57.12 and 49.93 respectively.
-        Yousif Rabah (MAR) took line honours in the men’s 400m in 46.31, as local favourite and London Olympian Ben Offereins (WA) crossed second in 47.11 in his first race for 2013.
-        The two-lap dominance of Kelly Hetherington (Vic) continued when she won the women’s 800m in 2:03.62 from Selma Kajan (NSW, second, 2:04.72) and Anna Laman (NSW, third, 2:05.27).
-        Just two days after winning six gold medals at the Australian Junior Athletics Championships, Mathew Denny (Qld) was triumphant the men’s discus throw with a 54.29m hurl.
 
The National Athletics Series continues next weekend at the Queensland Track Classic, before the Qantas Melbourne World Challenge sees the return of the Qantas Australian Athletic Tour on April 6.

Athletics Australia

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