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Saint-sational run in USA ensures Moscow for Ben

29 April 2013

ATHLETICS: Ben St Lawrence (NSW) is the toast of Stanford, California after a magnificent victory in the men’s 10,000m at the Payton Jordan Invitational to ensure his Australian Flame selection for the IAAF World Championships. 

Crossing the line in a very impressive A-Qualifying time of 27:37.55, the national 10,000m champion St Lawrence has now done all that is required to ensure his automatic selection at the Final Selectors Meeting in late July. 

“Following his performance to win the 10,000m Selection Trial at the Zatopek:10 late last year, Ben has now secured his automatic selection in the 10,000m at the IAAF World Championships after today clocking an IAAF World Championships A-Qualifier,” Dion Russell, Athletics Australia Chairman of Selectors, said. 

“In accordance with the Selection Policy he will not be officially named in theteam until the Final Selectors Meeting in late July, but St Lawrence’s performance today rewards his efforts at the Selection Trial and reinforces the importance of the Trial as part of the Selection Process this year." 

St Lawrence’s performance continues his impressive resume of results from the annual Payton Jordan Invitational, with his Australian and Oceania 10,000m record of 27:24.95 set when he placed third at the event two years ago. 

Coached by Sean Williams, St Lawrence is a six-time national champion and his result today ensures he will don the green and gold at a fourth consecutive major international championship, after recent competition at the 2010 Commonwealth Games (5000m, 10,000m), the 2011 IAAF World Championships (5000m) and the 2012 London Olympic Games (10,000m). 

Six-time IAAF World Cross Country Championships representative Liam Adams (Vic) joined St Lawrence on the start line, with the City2Surf winner clocking 28:16.18 to finish 15th overall.  

In the women’s race, IAAF World Championships bound Lara Tamsett (NSW) was 10th in a time of 32:16.33, her second fastest ever, while Brett Robinson (ACT) clocked a new career best of 12:26.35 in the men’s 5000m. Genevieve Lacaze (Qld) finished 6th (9:57.15) in the women’s 3000m steeplechase and Linden Hall (Vic) clocked a big new personal best of 4:19.47 in the women’s 1500m. 

At the same time in Japan, up and coming javelin thrower Hamish Peacock (Tas) hurled a new state record and personal best of 79.96m to edge closer toward the IAAF World Championships B-Qualifier of 81.00m. Competing at the Oda Memorial Meet in Hiroshima (JPN), Peacock’s best mark came on his fourth attempt and provides a promising sign ahead of further competition later this week at the IAAF World Challenge event in Tokyo (JPN). 

Peacock was joined at the meet by MelissaBreen (ACT), who on return from injury clocked 11.54 to finish second in her 100m heat and third overall, while Kaila McKnight (Vic) finished 5th in the women’s 5000m in a time of 15:39.89. 

These performances close what has been a big weekend of track and field, with Australian action including a national record in the women’s 4x800m relay at the prestigious Penn Relays. The team consisting of Zoe Buckman (ACT), Anna Laman (NSW), Heidi Gregson (NSW) and Selma Kajan (NSW) ran 8:18.96 to finish sixth and easily surpass the previous Australian mark of 8:39.5 set in 1992. That superb run sits alongside the sixth placed (9:28.74) Australian distance medley relay team of CollisBirmingham (Vic), Kurt Mulcahy (Qld), James Kaan (NSW) and Ryan Gregson (NSW), also at the Penn Relays, and the 7.96m (w: +2.0)leap to win at the Drake Relays by Fabrice Lapierre (NSW). 

Attention now shifts to the Shizuoka International Grand Prix and the SEIKO Golden Grand Prix to be held in Shizuoka (JPN) and Tokyo (JPN) respectively later this week. Breen, who has an IAAF World Championships A-Qualifier in the 100m, will compete in the short sprint in Shizuoka on Thursday 4 May, while Lauren Boden (ACT) and Tristan Thomas (Tas) will start in the 400m hurdles. Breen and Thomas will continue onto Tokyo this Sunday 5 May with the duo to be joined by McKnight, Peacock and Youcef Abdi (NSW, 3000mSC).

Athletics Australia

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