Author: James Kaan, Executive Officer | Athletics ACT / Friday 20th April 2018
In a blockbuster eight days of athletics on the Gold Coast, four ACT athletes have returned with medals from the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
Continuing his golden form from London last year, F38 shot putter Cameron Crombie (Ginninderra) once again secured gold with a sequence of 15m+ throws to take out the event 2m a head of Australian team mate Marty Jackson. Crombie’s winning effort of 15.74m coming in the third round, just 21cm shy of his world record set last years at the World Para Athletics Championships in London of 15.95m. Fellow team mate and Canberrian Jayden Sawyer (Para Athletic Talent Squad), who is more suited to the Javelin having won the F38 Javelin in London last year, finished in 4th with an effort of 12.40m.
In what was one of the events of the games, Kelsey-Lee Roberts (South Canberra-Tuggeranong) launched a huge 63.89m in her final round throw of the Javelin to finish 2nd behind team-mate Kathryn Mitchell, whose opening round throw of 68.92m eclipsed the games record. Roberts, whose opening round throw of 60.81 saw her sit in second behind eventual third place getter, South Africa’s Sunette Viljoen. Roberts was lifted by the crowd in her final throw and secured the silver medal to go one better than her Bronze from the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games.
On the track and road, Canberra based wheelchair athletes Eliza Ault-Connell (Woden Athletics) and Jake Lappin (North Canberra Gungahlin) picked up medals. Ault-Connell took silver in the T54 Marathon behind fellow Australia Madison de Razzario, just days after finishing in 5th in the T54 1500m. Lappin finished strong to take bronze in the T54 1500m with a 6th place on the final day of competition in the T54 Marathon, with legend of wheelchair sport Kurt Fernley taking that event out.
Canberra youngster and rising middle distance prodigy Keely Small (Weston Creek) had a stellar run in the 800m. Lined up against eventual winner Caster Semenya of South Africa in the heats, Small capitalised on the quick pace to run a blistering 2.00.81 and finish 6th in her heat. Small’s performance betters the Australian U20 record and ACT resident record and moves her to 15th fastest women all-time in Australia.
Also on the track ACT athlete Lauren Wells (North Canberra Gungahlin) put in a strong effort over the 400m hurdles clocking a 55.73s to finish 5th, a performance which 4 years prior was enough to secure a birth in the final at the Glasgow games. Wells just a day later backed up to compete in the Long Jump qualifying round where she jumped 6.46m to ensure her spot in the final. Wells jumping on tired legs placed 11th in the final with a jump of 6.16m. With a few more days rest Wells competed once more in the women’s 4x400m where the Australian team placed 5th.
Australian Record holder Melissa Breen (North Canberra Gungahlin) who went into the games nursing an injury showed why she is one Australia’s toughest athletes. Breen, who had missed the better part of the season due to injury progressed through to the semi-finals of the 100m after clocking a 11.65s to finish 4th in her heat. Breen backed up with a 11.76s semi-final performance. Injury played havoc for Breen on the second last day of competition during the final of the 4x100m which saw the Australian team unable to complete the race.
Other notable mentions from the 2018 Commonwealth Games:
· ACT coach Dick Telford celebrated victory with his Gold Coast athlete Michael Shelley who took gold in the Marathon
· Athletics ACT board member and NSW athlete James Nipperess finished 9th in the 3000m Steeple Chase