Athletics wrap up

13 August 2012

ATHLETICS: The Australian athletics team has delivered three medals in the London 2012 campaign, with super Sally Pearson breaking the Olympic record to win 100m hurdles gold, Mitchell Watt leaping to silver in the long jump and Jared Tallent walking his way to 50km silver on The Mall.

In a thrilling race, Pearson edged out Dawn Harper of the United States to become Olympic champion by just 0.02 seconds in a time of 12.35, the third quickest time of her career.

Mitchell Watt produced a leap of 8.16 metres with his final jump to finish with silver behind Great Britain's Greg Rutherford.

Jared Tallent added a third Olympic medal to his collection, slicing more than two minutes off his personal best at The Mall in central London. It was the second Olympic Games in a row that Tallent has claimed the silver in the 50km walk, combined with the bronze he received in the 20km in Beijing. 

Australian athletics head coach Eric Hollingsworth wrapped up the campaign from the 52 athletics competitors.

“Eighth on the medal table, exactly the same as Beijing...we’re 13th on the placing table, we were 12th in Beijing,” Hollingsworth said.

“From a performance point of view we’ve consolidated our position on the world scale. Obviously there’s a wider spread of medals and things have become even more competitive moving forward, however we probably haven’t capitalised on the opportunities. The middle to top range of athletes, haven’t quite been able to step up from their Daegu (World Championships) performances so we’ve only been able to maintain our position, not move forward.”

In promising results ahead of Rio 2016, Steve Solomon became the first Australian to make the men's 400m final since the 1988 Seoul Olympics. The Sydney teenager ran two personal bests in as many days before finishing eighth in the final.

The Australian 4x100m men equaled the Australian record of 38.17 in qualifying and took on the world’s fastest sprinters to finish seventh in the men’s 4x100m final.

Other notable results include Alana Boyd (pole vault - 11th), Kathryn Mitchell (javelin – 9th), Benn Harradine (discus – 9th), Dani Samuels (discus – 12th), Henry Frayne (long jump – 9th) and Jared Tallent (20km walk – 7th). 

The road events also produced encouraging results with Lisa Weightman (17th) producing a marathon personal best and Jess Trengove (39th) fantastic racing. Michael Shelley crossed the line in 16th place in the men’s marathon and Regan Lamble finishing 17th in the women’s 20km walk.

Michelle Cook in London

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