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Samuels fires for Shanghai silver

19 May 2014

ATHLETICS: Dani  Samuels (NSW) has continued her stunning start to the 2014 season at Round 2 of the IAAF Diamond League in Shanghai (CHN).

Launching the discus an impressive 67.89m, her second biggest throw ever, the national champion Samuels was bettered only by the Moscow 2013 gold medallist Sandra Perkovic (CRO), who threw a world lead and Diamond League record of 70.52m to win.

Opening her account with 63.42m, Samuels continued with 63.93m in the second round and 64.21m in round three before the field was reduced to eight throwers. Her best mark came in round four, before a penultimate round foul and 67.88m to close out her six throw series.

“I am rapt,” Samuels said.

“I’ve sorted out some technical stuff recently and you can see the difference. I’ve had a great trip these past couple of weeks, a new personal best from last weekend and another competition at 67 metres here. I am technically sounder, and I’m stronger, I can feel all the power going to my throw.

"I think in the past couple of years I clearly put way too much pressure on myself. I'm more relaxed and confident. The goal is to throw a personal best at the Commonwealth Games, and that remains the goal. This is really great. I'm just excited to be throwing this well."

Samuels’ performance ensures that her record this year is unrivalled compared to anyother time in her career.

To date she has improved on her personal best on two occasions, with her season opening career best of 65.84m improved to 66.81m at the Commonwealth Games Selection Trial and then again to 67.99m last weekend at the Werfercup in Wiesbaden (GER).

She also remained undefeated in the women’s discus across the course of the National Athletics Series, including at the 92nd Australian Athletics Championships where she won her seventh Australian crown, and on all but one occasion she has thrown beyond 64 metres, which she has personally declared as her target in every competition.

Importantly, Samuels is a clear leader in the Commonwealth. Her season best throw of 67.99m is more than seven metres clear of the next best athlete that is likely to compete at Glasgow 2014, providing the 2009 world champion Samuels with an outstanding opportunity to add to the bronze medal she won in the women’s discus at the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne (Vic).

To view results from Round 2 of the IAAF Diamond League, please click here.

Steve  Solomon (NSW) has sprinted to silver in the men's 400m at the Pac-12 Track and Field Championships in Pullman (USA). His time of 45.79 seconds was another Glasgow Commonwealth Games B-standard. 

Also on the weekend long jumper Fabrice Lapierre (NSW) placed 4th with a performance of 7.60m (w: +1.9) at Ponce (PUR), while on Friday 16 May it was Collis Birmingham (Vic) who shone when he won the men’s 5000m at the Oxy High Performance Meet in Eagle Rock (USA).

Details on all the Australian results from the Oxy High Performance Meet are available here.

Attention now shifts to the IAAF World Relays in Nassau (BAH) next weekend, where Australia will field teams in the men’s and women’s 4x100m, 4x400m, 4x800m and 4x1500m relays.

For more information on the IAAF World Relays, please click here to visit the IAAF website.

Athletics Australia

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