Wruck through to discus final
13 August 2013
ATHLETICS: The Australian Flame charge has continued at the IAAF World Championships in Moscow, with national discus champion Julian Wruck (Qld) advancing to the discus final and 400m hurdlers Tristan Thomas (Tas) and Lauren Boden (ACT) progressing to semi-finals.
Making amends for his agonising 13th place at the London 2012 Olympic Games, Wruck’s third attempt throw of 62.48m to secure his spot in the round-of-12 also creates history, with the 22-year-old becoming the youngest male ever to qualify for a discus final at the championships.
Wruck opened his account with a nervous 60.36m, before backing up with yet another stiff throw of 60.84m. Making amendments to his technique for his last attempt, the NCAA champion threw his best mark to advance 11th placed for the final tomorrow night.
“The first couple of rounds I was really nervous and you can see that in my throws. My arm was nice and tight, but I made a few technical changes and was able to put one out there with my last attempt to scrape through. Fair to say I was pretty anxious to see if it would be enough so I am looking forward to the final,” Wruck said.
“It is good that I was able to respond by improving in the last round. That’s what I take into the final, the knowledge that if I open badly I can still calm myself down, make a technical amendment and improve. Ideally you throw big from the outset but the piece of mind in knowing that I can adjust what I am doing to get better is a big relief.”
“The nerves are something that I am getting better at. They were very bad in London last year, better at the NCAA titles earlier this year and improved again here. It’s something that I will keep working on and in the final I will be doing my best to improve from today.”
Wruck’s compatriot Benn Harradine (Qld) threw in Group ‘A’ earlier in the morning session on Day 3 but was unable to recapture the form that saw him throw a national record of 68.20m earlier this year and he will miss the final. Hitting his best mark of 59.68m in round two, Harradine fouled with his other two attempts and finished 20th overall.
“This was a great opportunity to throw well and I have missed it. I just couldn't get it out there today. There's nothing else to say other than if sport was the only thing that determined my happiness, I would be very unhappy right now,” Harradine said.
“In saying that I am very determined for next year. I don't want that to sound like a cop out but this year has been challenging for me and I am looking forward to getting home, having some rest, and finding myself in a situation where I have finished the year without the need for surgery. I am fit in my head, and my body is starting to take shape so I am hopeful for a healthy and fit build-up for the Commonwealth Games.”
Competing in heat one of the men’s 400m hurdles, Thomas was initially disappointed by his sixth place behind Michael Tinsley (USA, first, 49.07) thinking that it would not be enough to progress to the next round.
Enduring four further heats, all of which were noticeably slower, Thomas was rewarded for his 49.80 time, with the four-time Australian champion advancing as the second fastest of the non-automatic qualifiers.
“It’s really been great being here, I love this track. The Australian team has been amazing and if I do get a run in the relay then I’m really looking forward to that,” Thomas said.
“It’s mixed feelings. Obviously it’s a great honour to be back in the semi-finals for my third World Championships. I’m pretty happy to get another one after a run that I wasn’t overly thrilled with at the time today. Obviously a lot more needs to be done, but maybe I underestimated the track and 49.80 isn’t that bad a time after all.”
“I can go faster in the semi, it’s a matter of whether it’s fast enough though. As I said, the run didn’t feel bad, it just didn’t flow as well as I’d like to. It’s obviously not as rosy as it looks out there, so I’ll just rest up, recover well and hopefully that is enough to get me home tomorrow.”
Boden too will progress to the women’s 400m hurdles semi-final on time after she clocked 55.37 to place 4th in heat three. Excited by her race considering her event progressed to only two (rather than the three) semi-finals, she is confident that she has more to offer when she takes to the track once more.
“It was interesting when we saw that there were only two semi-finals rather than three like I am used to. I tried to not let it phase me, and instead just focus on getting my stride pattern right, executive my race plan and watching the time follow,” Boden said.
“My heat was very strong with the Olympic champion and silver medallist, and I did my best to try and ignore it. I am happy with how I just focused on what I was doing and got to the line in a quick enough time to see another day. It’s very exciting.”
On Day 4 of the World Championships ten athletes will be in action. Tanya Holliday, Jess Rothwell (20km Walk final), Brandon Starc (HJ qual), Ben St Lawrence, Brett Robinson (5,000m heats), Julian Wruck (discus final), Lauren Boden and Tristan Thomas (400m hurdle semi-finals).
For comprehensive results, please click here to visit iaaf.org.