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Denny unleashes record hammer

19 January 2013

ATHLETICS: Four records were broken in the opening session of athletics at the Australian Youth Olympic Festival (AYOF).

In the first event of the competition Australian Matt Denny wasn’t holding back!

Denny broke the 2005 meet record to claim gold in the men’s hammer throw.

The Queenslander threw a whopping 79.26m to beat silver medallist New Zealand’s Matt Bloxham (71.79m) and bronze medallist fellow Australian Costa Kousparis (64.98m).

“It was a massive personal best for me, more than four metres,” Denny said.

“I was hoping for it because I was training close to that.

“It’s great confidence because I’m up with the guys that are throwing 81m.”

The 16-year-old’s throw, once ratified, will set a new Australian record for his age group.

The 2012 All Schools under 18 champion for discus, hammer and shot put, Denny will compete in discus in the Saturday afternoon program. Where like the hammer throw he has several World Youth Games qualifiers.

Breaking the meet record by 37cm, China’s Rong Wang was victorious in the women’s triple jump with a jump of 13.65m.

Men’s triple jump gold medal winner Yaoqing Fang of China couldn’t wipe the smile of his face after hearing he had broken the meet record with a jump of 15.62m.

“I never thought I could break the record. Winning is wonderful, I’m very excited.”

Silver went to Australian Shemaiah James (15.05m) and Brazilian Ulisses Mateus Silva Cos (14.71m) finished with bronze. 

Excited by her win in the women’s triple jump, Chinese athlete Rong Wang said there were no nerves beforehand.

“I’ve loved the competition; just being out there has been great. I’m sad for it all to be over after today.”

Brazilian Nubia Aparecida Soares (12.14m) and Erica Winton from New Zealand (10.51m) won silver and bronze respectively.

In women’s javelin it was a clash of the top two girl in the world, with China’s Qiyan Kang claiming bragging rights and gold in the under 18 event with a throw of 50.41m. Australian Mackenzie Little was not far off with 49.08m for silver. New Zealander Laura Overton threw 45.13m for bronze.

In strong winds, Australian Liam O’Brien won gold in the men’s javelin. He beat teammate Rhys Stein by 70cm with a throw of 65.88m. Brazilian Fernando Martins came third with a throw of 62.50m.

Breaking the meet record by 26cm, women’s shot put winner Australian Yasenaca Denicaucau said all the intense training before the AYOF had been worth it.
“At the start of the competition you just don’t expect it. You have to relax.”

“It’s pretty surreal to win, you’ve trained towards it and then all the training has paid off.”

Denicaucau threw 15.76m, beating fellow Australian Paletina Lemi (14.69m) and New Zealand’s Mangu Feagaiga-Fagasa (13.95m). Denicaucau has now thrown many World Youth Qualifiers.

In the girl’s pole vault, Nina Kennedy claimed gold from her training partner and best friend Emma Philippe.

With a strong wind, Kennedy failed in her first attempt at 3.80m before clearing 3.90m , 4.00m and 4.10m on her first attempts. She was unable to clear 4.20m while Philippe’s best was 4.00m.

“We compete every week together so the biggest difference this week is that we are both wearing the Australian uniform,” Kennedy said.

“The atmosphere at the whole festival has been great, the opening ceremony really got me in the spirit and then being on the bus with the Brazilians and singing with them has been amazing.”

Fellow Australian Henry Smith won gold in the men’s high jump, clearing 2.06m.

Smith jumped three centimetres higher than Brazilian Italo Hans De Aleida Va who claimed silver place.

Fellow Australian Joel Baden and New Zealander James Sandilands didn’t complete the event after failing to clear a height. 

Athletics continues Saturday afternoon.

Annie Kearney

Follow the AYOF on Twitter @AYOF2013 #AYOF2013 #RoadtoRio
Contact the author of this story @anniemaykearney

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