Brooke Stratton (Vic) has delivered Australia’s best ever female result in the women’s long jump final on day eight of the 2017 IAAF World Championships, as Sally Pearson (Qld) sent a commanding message to her rivals by advancing to the 100m hurdles final as fastest.
Taking to the runway after an injury interrupted 2017, Stratton executed a clutch third attempt effort of 6.67m (w: -0.9) to ensure her move from 10th to 5th as the field was trimmed to eight.
She then soared 6.55m, another 6.67m and 6.64m in the final three rounds to move one-spot ahead of Team Australia’s previous best results of 7th, held by Bronwyn Thompson (2003) and Nicole Boegman (1993)
“I didn’t even know that I was going to be here a few weeks ago, so to place sixth. I just can’t believe it,” Stratton said.
“I had a foot injury that dragged on, then my groin flared up to set me back again. I couldn’t get a decent block of training until I got over here, then I had a few comps (sic) and found some form. I knew I wasn’t in fantastic shape, but I’ve still done this.
“6.67m was enough to put me right up there, but I’m so confident for what’s ahead. Next year, the Commonwealth Games going to be incredible. They are in Australia and I’m sure the home crowd will push me to bigger jumps.”
Stratton was joined in finals action by Genevieve LaCaze (Vic), with the Rio 2016 Olympic Games finalist becoming the first green and gold charge to compete in the medal round of the women’s 3000m steeplechase at the IAAF World Championships.
Avoiding incident in a race that was filled with drama, including the early leader missing the first water jump and a tumble involving multiple athletes in the first kilometre, she clocked a season best 9:26.25 for 12th as she prepares to line up again at the IAAF Diamond League in Birmingham (GBR) in less than two weeks.
Sally Pearson (Qld) also shone on track, winning her heat and semi-final of the women’s 100m hurdles to progress to the final as the fastest qualifier.
Competing for Team Australia for the first time since the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, Pearson blitzed the field in the first race of the penultimate round. She clocked 12.53 (w: +0.5), just 0.05 outside her season best, to cross as victor and ensure her start from lane four in the round-of-eight on Saturday 12 August.
“That was very satisfying,” Pearson said.
“At the start, I was like, ‘what if I lose?’ but I had to run anyway. I knew I was in good shape. It was a matter of just doing it and making sure that my execution outweighed my doubts.”
“I was a bit disappointed with my heat. I thought it was pretty good and I ran 12.70, and I don’t like going through the rounds without being the fastest. I had to go out there and run that. The girls in this round just push you. I don’t think I was as pushed this morning, I got a bit further away.”
Michelle Jenneke (NSW) joined Pearson in the semi-final, clocking 13.25 to place 7th after advancing on time with a strong 13.11 run in her heat. It is the first time that Jenneke, who will compete at the World University Games later this month, progressed through the heat a t a global championship.
In the men’s 1500m semi-final, Jordan Williamsz (Vic) and Luke Mathews (Vic) have finished agonisingly close to a start in the race for medals.
Williamsz ran 3:38.93 to place 13th overall and miss a start in the final by just one position, while Mathews surged to the line to place 7th in 3:40.91, just 0.31 outside those that automatically advanced.
Competition this evening followed a brilliant morning for Dani Stevens (NSW), with the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth champion throwing 65.56m with her first attempt in the women’s discus throw to automatically secure her spot in the medal round.
The first time that she has advanced to the final with her maiden throw since winning gold at the 2009 IAAF World Championships, Stevens is thrilled to be among the twelve that will start on Sunday 13 August.
“It’s always the dream doing it on your first-round throw in qualifying. I’m stoked it was a decent throw as well, I was pretty nervous going in there. It’s great. Bring on the final,” Stevens said.
Taryn Gollshewsky (Qld) also took to the thrower’s cage for the qualifying round of the women’s discus throw, hitting 54.29m with her best effort. She will not progress.
Rounding out action on day eight was Cedric Dubler (Qld) in the men’s decathlon, with the Rio 2016 Olympian closing out his five-event first day series with 4070 points.
Opening his campaign with an 11.06 run in the 100m, he then jumped 7.29m in the long jump and threw a season best 11.36m in the shot put. This was followed by 2.08m in the high jump and a 48.31 in the 400m.
A double session returns to the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park tomorrow, with the men’s 4x100m relay and women’s 4x400m relay teams among those that will start during the day before the men’s 5000m sees Patrick Tiernan (Qld) battle-it-out with Mo Farah (GBR).
To view and download results from day two of the IAAF World Championships, please click here.
For more information on Team Australia, please click here to visit the hub at athletics.com.au.