Kelsey-Lee Roberts (ACT) and Kurtis Marschall (SA) will duel for medals at the 2017 IAAF World Championships.
Advancing through the qualifying rounds of the women’s javelin and men’s pole vault respectively on day three in London (GBR), the duo will both compete for a spot on the podium on the evening of Tuesday 8 August.
Roberts took to the javelin runway in Qualifying Group ‘A’ and opened her three throw series with a settling 61.12m, before returning to hit 63.70m and progress to the final.
She was one of only three athletes to advance automatically from her pool, throwing 20 centimetres beyond the 63.50m mark needed to ensure progression.
“I’m doing a little happy dance, I’m really happy to get the auto-qualifier tonight. It’s puts everything that I’ve done all season into practice and I don’t have to play the waiting game, I’m just straight into the final,” Roberts said.
“I’ve been really happy with this season. It took a little bit to get going at the start, I was just sort of waiting because I knew that the form was there, but to come to Europe, throw well at my first couple of Diamond Leagues, it has helped set me up for a good campaign here.
“My goal all season has been to throw a PB at the world championships. I didn’t do that tonight, so that’s what I want on Tuesday night.”
Kathryn Mitchell (Vic) competed in the Qualifying Group ‘B’ and hit a best mark of 57.42m. She will not progress to the final.
Marschall entered the competition at the opening height of 5.30m and cleared the bar with ease on his first attempt, before having Team Australia on the edge of their seat after two misses at 5.45m. He delivered a clutch third attempt jump to progress.
His next jump was the best of his series, sailing over 5.60m without any concerns before two commendable efforts at 5.70m, only to knock the bar on his fall to the mat.
Competing at his second major international championships after debuting at Rio 2016 last year, Marschall will now focus on readying himself for a tilt at a new personal best in the final.
“I’m so pumped, I’m very excited and now looking forward to the final,” Marschall said.
“It was a nervous wait, I jumped 5.60m pretty cleanly and was looking forward to jumping 5.70m to guarantee that spot in the final but it wasn’t to be. It all came down to that wait, that sucked, but I scrapped in and can’t be happier.”
“Now I’ve just got to kick the feet up, eat lots of food, put some tights on, get the feet up and just do as much as I can to be ready. I’ve never been in a major championship final before and the buzz of being there will get me back up producing what I have across the season.
“I’ve had pretty good attempts at 5.70m these past few weeks. I’m showing I have big jumps in there, I’ve made the final, ticked the box, now it’s about replicating the best I can and letting the results speak for themselves.”
Marschall will be joined in the men’s pole vault final by, among others, London 2012 Olympic champion Renaud Lavillenie (FRA), the Beijing 2015 gold medallist Shawn Barber (CAN) and 17-year-old prodigy Armand Duplantis (SWE).
To read our review of the men’s and women’s marathon, including the stunning ninth place finish by Jess Trengove (SA) please click here.
Morgan Mitchell (Vic) and Nicholas Hough (NSW) also took to the start line on day three, competing in the heats of the women’s 400m and 110m hurdles respectively.
Crossing the line fifth in heat five, Mitchell ran 52.22, below her season best of 51.65, and did not progress to the semi-final.
Hough was also fifth in the first round of the sprint hurdles, clocking 13.61, and missed automatic progression to the semi-final by one place. He will now turn his attention to the World University Games in later this month.
To view and download results from day two of the IAAF World Championships, please click here.
The 2017 IAAF World Championships feature only an evening session tomorrow, with Lauren Wells (ACT) the sole Team Australia representative in the first round of the 400m hurdles.
For more information on Team Australia, please click here to visit the hub at athletics.com.au.