Three Aussies bronzed in Glasgow warm up14 July 2014
ATHLETICS: Genevieve LaCaze (Qld) and Madeline Heiner (SA) have delivered personal best performances in the women’s 3000m steeplechase to headline Australian results on day two of the British Athletics Grand Prix in Glasgow (SCO), as the Olympic champion Sally Pearson (Qld) stormed home for third in the women’s 100m hurdles.
Stopping the clock at 9:33.19, LaCaze’s run ensured 9th place in a stacked field that also saw a world lead from the winner Hiwot Ayalew (ETH, first, 9:10.64) and national records for Emma Coburn (USA, second, 9:11.42), Charlotta Fougberg (SWE, 4th, 9:23.96) and Sandra Eriksson (FIN, 6th, 9:24.70).
The time improves LaCaze’s previous best by just shy of four seconds and highlights her continued form this season after clocking a then PB of 9:37.16 at the IFAM Meeting in Oordegem (BEL) in late May.
Heiner’s entry to compete marked her first as part of the IAAF Diamond League series and what a start it was. Crossing just one spot behind her compatriot in 10th, her performance of 9:36.31 smashes the 9:48.25 she ran to set a then career best time at the Australian Athletics Championships in April.
In the women’s 100m hurdles, Pearson enjoyed a trademark strong start before lunging at the line to record 12.87 (w: +0.2) and edge out her main Commonwealth rival Tiffany Porter (GBR, 4th, 12.88) in a photo finish. Queen Harrison (USA) won the race in 12.59.
Pearson’s performance shows progression for the reigning Commonwealth Games gold medallist after an uncharacteristically slow international season opener in Nivelles (BEL) and 6th place in 12.89 at the IAAF Diamond League in Paris (FRA) last week. She will now race in Lucerne (SUI) on Tuesday 15 July before arriving at the Athletics Team Camp for the Commonwealth Games in Gateshead.
“The stadium is fantastic, and the crowds here are always so supportive which is positive. The concept they have pulled together here with the elevated track is great, it’s a good surface,” Pearson said.
“I’m still undecided on what I will compete in at the Commonwealth Games. I’m hoping that I will be able to start in both the 100m flat and the hurdles but we’ll wait and see. We have a big team coming to Glasgow and it will be fantastic to be back here racing again soon.”
Also competing on day two at the British Athletics Grand Prix were national record holders Melissa Breen (ACT) and Alana Boyd (Qld), and the men’s 4x100m relay team of Jin Su Jung (NSW), Jarrod Geddes (NSW), Jake Hammond (NSW) and Tim Leathart (NSW), who placed 4th in 39.35.
Launching from the blocks in the women’s 100m ‘B’ race, Breen stopped the clock at 11.38 (w: +0.9) to place 5th behind winner Dafne Schippers (NED, first, 11.03), while Boyd finished 8th in the women’s pole vault after soaring over both 4.20m and 4.40m before stumbling at 4.55m.
Day 1 results
Hampden Park has opened its gates to the world’s best athletes for Round 10 of the IAAF Diamond League, and Lauren Wells (ACT, 400m hurdles) and Dani Samuels (NSW, discus) have relished the opportunity to compete in the Glasgow 2014 host venue for athletics by delivering podium results for the green and gold.
Crossing the line in 55.78 behind winner Eilidh Child (GBR, first, 54.39), Wells’ performance in the one-lap hurdles is her second fastest this year after running her season best time of 55.69 to win at the Memorial Leon Buyle last weekend.
The result ensures a second consecutive finish amongst the top-three from two starts on the international circuit this year and continues a season of success for the IAAF World Championship and Olympic semi-finalist that also includes the victory at the IAAF Melbourne World Challenge late March and the national crown from the Commonwealth Games Selection Trial in April.
Samuel’s best mark of 65.21m came in the final round of a women’s discus throw competition that saw Sandra Perkovic (CRO, second, 66.30m) edged out for victory for the first time this year by Gia Smallwood-Lewis (USA, first, 67.59m, PB).
Opening her account with 63.55m, Samuels backed up with a mark of 63.53m before a foul, 63.92m, a second foul in the penultimate round and her biggest throw to close. Her third place is her third finish on the dais as part of the IAAF Diamond League series this year, with the 2009 IAAF World Champion now amongst the top-three in the Diamond Race for her event.
It has been a fantastic season for Samuels, with the national champion throwing beyond her season opening personal best of 65.84m on four occasions to date, including three throws beyond 67 metres. She is a clear leader in the Commonwealth rankings for the women’s discus throw and will start arguably as favourite for gold at Glasgow 2014.
Also impressive on day one of competition at the British Athletics Grand Prix was national 10,000m record holder Ben St Lawrence (NSW), who in the men’s 5000m clocked a season best time of 13:25.68 to place 10th. IAAF World Indoor Championships 3000m finalist Collis Birmingham (Vic) placed 16th in 13:49.83.
In the women’s 1500m, IAAF World Championships finalist and national champion Zoe Buckman (Vic) flew the Australian flag and crossed 12th in a time of 4:06.90, while in the T54 wheelchair 1500m Richard Colman (Vic) placed 7th in 3:15.93.