Mickle and Boyd open Diamond League season
7 May 2014
ATHLETICS: Australian record holders Kim Mickle (WA, javelin) and Alana Boyd (Qld, pole vault) will join some of the world’s best athletes for Round 1 of the IAAF Diamond League in Doha (QAT) this Friday 9 May.
Providing an ideal start to what will hopefully lead toward Commonwealth glory this August, both Mickle and Boyd will arrive in the Middle East after strong domestic campaigns that included selection for Glasgow 2014 and season best performances well beyond the Commonwealth Games A-Standard for their event.
The IAAF World Championships silver medallist Mickle is in the form of her life.
Opening her 2014 account with a 66.12m throw to win by a mere two centimetres from Kathryn Mitchell (Vic, 66.10m) at the Adelaide Track Classic, the Athletics Australia Athlete of the Year has since taken victory at the Perth Track Classic and IAAF Melbourne World Challenge, with her 66.83m performance at Lakeside Stadium eclipsing the previous Australian record of Olympic silver medallist Louise Currey. Mickle then earned automatic selection to the Commonwealth Games team by throwing 64.28m to win her ninth national title.
“The Diamond League is extraordinary. I managed to do most events last year and they are an amazing build up to any major championship,” Mickle told Eurosport Australia.
“My goal this year is to be Commonwealth champion but I also want to see what I can do against the best in the world at the Diamond League. Last year I finished on the podium at every single event but failed to get on the top of the dais, so hopefully I can nab a few first places this year.
“To compete against the best in the world each month at every Diamond League event is great. My plan is definitely to win each event, so game on.”
Boyd’s Australian season included an impressive five Commonwealth Games A-Qualifiers of at least 4.50m, including at the Perth Track Classic (4.55m) and the Queensland Athletics Championships (4.50m). With a season best of 4.61m, the reigning Commonwealth champion Boyd has reigned supreme at nine of her 11 starts so far this year, and it is this form that she will look to emulate this weekend.
The IAAF Diamond League continues in Shanghai (CHN) the following weekend, with Dani Samuels (NSW) to fly the Australian flag in the women’s discus throw. Her start will follow competition at Werfercup in Weisbaden (GER) this Saturday.
Samuels sojourn to compete overseas follows a monster 66.81m throw to win the gold medal and ensure her Commonwealth Games selection at the 92nd Australian Athletics Championships last month. Breaking a four-year drought, the mark improved the personal best of the London Olympic finalist and ensured that she remains more than 5 metres clear atop the Commonwealth rankings.
Competition this weekend also includes Round 3 of the IAAF World Challenge in Tokyo (JPN), with green and gold hopes resting on the shoulders of Melissa Breen (100m), Hamish Peacock (javelin), Melissa Duncan (Vic, 1500m), Bridey Delaney (NSW, 1500m), Brandon Starc (NSW, high jump) and James Nipperess (NSW, 3000mSC).
Breen’s start will follow victory at an event in Mito (JPN) yesterday, with the national record holder clocking 11.48 in the final after 11.43 in her heat.
AUSSIES IN ACTION OVER COMING WEEKS:
May 9: IAAF Diamond League (Round 1) – Doha (QAT)
Pole vault: Alana Boyd (Qld)
Javelin: Kim Mickle (WA)
Round 1 of the IAAF Diamond League will be broadcast LIVE and EXCLUSIVE on EUROSPORT (Channel 511) from 2:00am AEST, 10 May 2014
May 10: Werfercup – Weisbaden (GER)
Discus throw: Dani Samuels (NSW)
May 11: Golden Grand Prix – Tokyo (JPN)
100m: Melissa Breen (ACT)
1500m: Melissa Duncan (Vic), Bridey Delaney (NSW)
3000m steeplechase: James Nipperess (NSW)
High jump: Brandon Starc (NSW)
Javelin: Hamish Peacock (Tas)
May 15: Oxy High Performance Meet - Eagle Rock (USA)
800m: Zoe Buckman (Vic), Selma Kajan (NSW), Brittany McGowan (Qld)
1500m: Anna Laman (NSW), Bridey Delaney (NSW), Melissa Duncan (Vic), Ryan Gregson (NSW)
5000m: Collis Birmingham (Vic), Ben St Lawrence (NSW), Brett Robinson (ACT)
3000m steeplechase: Genevieve LaCaze (Qld)
May 18: IAAF Diamond League (Round 2) - Shanghai (CHN)
Discus throw: Dani Samuels (NSW)
Round 2 of the IAAF Diamond League will be broadcast LIVE and EXCLUSIVE on EUROSPORT (Channel 511) from 10:00pm AEST, 18 May 2014