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Samuels set for Shanghai spin

16 May 2014

ATHLETICS: A full of confidence Dani Samuels (NSW) will take on the best in the world when the women’s discus makes its first appearance as part of the IAAF Diamond League in Shanghai (CHN) this Sunday 18 May.

The second round of the 14-meet series, Samuels’ scheduled start follows an absolutely outstanding series of throws at the Werfercup in Wiesbaden (GER) last weekend, with the 2009 world champion improving her personal best on three consecutive occasions to 67.99m.

The mark is less than a metre shy of the coveted Australian record (67.82m) of Daniela Costian, and delivers a second improvement on her career best mark in the last two months.

“I’m really excited. It was such a great competition; just this awesome little German meet and they absolutely love their throws over there. People were standing in the rain in this little enclosed space barely big enough to fit a sector. I’m so loving and enjoying my throwing this year. I haven’t had a PB for four years and that’s been tough, so to improve it on two separate occasions already in 2014 is amazing,” Samuels said.

Samuels’ stiffest competition in Shanghai will come from the current world leader Sandra Perkovic (CRO), but the Glasgow 2014 bound charge relishes the opportunity to compete against the stars of her event in an effort to prepare as best as possible for her target of a new personal best at the Commonwealth Games.

“Now I am just really looking forward to my first Diamond League competition in Shanghai. I’m keen to throw against the strong level of field that I will face there to push my training that bit more, and then it’s home to Sydney for a bit of a break before my main European campaign later in the year,” Samuels added.

“I’ve been throwing well but I haven’t really had time to reassess what I want from this year, and to be honest I don't think I need to. My aim is to PB at the Commonwealth Games and ensure that I continue to be consistently throwing out past 64 metres to make sure that I’m in the mix at every Diamond League competition.”

Round 2 of the IAAF Diamond League will follow competition in the Eagle Rock (USA), Ponce (PUR) and Pullman (USA), with a plethora of Australian Flame charges to start including Zoe Buckman (Vic), Ryan Gregson (NSW), Collis Birmingham (Vic), Ben St Lawrence (NSW), Brett Robinson (ACT), Genevieve Lacaze (Qld), Steven Solomon (NSW) and Fabrice Lapierre (NSW).

The eyes of the athletics world then shifts to the IAAF World Relays in Nassau (BAH), with Australia to field both men’s and women’s teams in the 4x100m relay, 4x400m relay, 4x800m relay and 4x1500m relay.

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 17-18: Pac-12 Track & Field Championships - Pullman (USA)400m: Steven Solomon (NSW)

May 17: Ponce Grand Prix - Ponce (PUR)Long jump: Fabrice Lapierre (NSW)

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.

May 24-25: IAAF World Relays - Nassau (BAH)MEN:4x100m relay: Matthew Bertacco (Vic), Jarrod Geddes (NSW), Jake Hammond (NSW), Alexander Hartmann (Qld), Jung Jin Su (NSW)4x400m relay: Alexander Beck (Qld), Craig Burns (Qld), Alexander Carew (Vic), Dylan Grant (Qld)4x800m relay: Collis Birmingham (Vic), Ryan Gregson (NSW), Sam McEntee (WA), Joshua Ralph (NSW), Jared West (NSW), Jordan Williamsz (Vic)4x1500m relay: Collis Birmingham (Vic), Ryan Gregson (NSW), Sam McEntee (WA), Joshua Ralph (NSW), Jared West (NSW), Jordan Williamsz (Vic)

WOMEN:4x100m relay: Monica Brennan (Vic), Margaret Gayen (SA), Elly Graf (NSW), Ella Nelson (NSW)4x400m relay: Jessica Gulli (Vic), Morgan Mitchell (Vic), Lyndsey Pekin (WA), Anneliese Rubie (NSW)4x800m relay: Zoe Buckman (Vic), Bridey Delaney (NSW), Melissa Duncan (Vic), Kelly Hetherington (Vic), Brittany McGowan (Qld), Selma Kajan (NSW)4x1500m relay: Zoe Buckman (Vic), Bridey Delaney (NSW), Melissa Duncan (Vic), Heidi Gregson (NSW), Kelly Hetherington (Vic), Brittany McGowan (Qld)

Athletics Australia