Samuels and Pearson improve in Lausanne

5 July 2013

ATHLETICS: Former discus world champion Dani Samuels has thrown 63.02m, her second best mark this year, to place 5th behind current world leader Sandra Perkovic of Croatia (68.96m) at the IAAF Diamond League in Lausanne. 

Improving on the mark she threw at Birmingham last weekend by almost two metres, the performance is Samuels’ best internationally since the qualifying round of the 2012 London Olympic Games but is one that she describes as bittersweet. 

“I am happy but I'm a little frustrated. It was great conditions out there.All the throws, bar the foul, were further than Birmingham so that can be a positive to take out of it. The thing is, while I may have stepped up so did everybody else,” Samuels said. 

"I was hoping to crack 64 metres today but it didn’t happen because I was playing around with a few things technically. I'm building though. 

“I'm excited because I've got six more weeks until the World Championships so there's a lot of time and a lot of improvement to find. The next step for me in the Monaco Diamond League later this month, and a smaller meet as well. 

Samuels in round one threw 61.87m to sit second, before three consecutive throws beyond the IAAF World Championships A-Qualifying mark (62.00m) of 62.91m, 62.48m and 63.02m. A foul followed in round five before 61.25m to close out her six throw series. 

Boasting an impressive IAAF World Championships A-Standard of 64.46m from the Sydney Track Classic as part of the Qantas Australian Athletics Tour earlier this year, Samuels will be considered for selection to the Australian Flame team for Moscow at the Final Selectors Meeting on 29 July. 

Olympic champion Sally Pearson joined Samuels on entry lists in Switzerland, with the 26-year-old Queenslander looking to improve on the 12.73 she ran to open her 2013 Diamond League series last weekend. 

Pearson delivered on her trademark impressive start and got away nicely, with the field split by the smallest of margins until the final two barriers. 

Current Diamond Race leader Dawn Harper-Nelson (USA) then broke away to record a season best of 12.53 and win with the next six athletes split by less than 0.2 seconds. Pearson crossed 7th in 12.69 (w: +1.2), a mere 0.01 behind Kristi Catlin (USA, 12.68) and only 0.03 off Tiffany Porter (GBR), who ran a season best. 

The IAAF Diamond League continues in Paris this Saturday, with national record holder Benn Harradine (Qld) and IAAF World Championships finalist Kim Mickle (WA) set to compete in the men’s discus throw and women’s javelin respectively.

Athletics Australia

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