Fresh off her debut appearance at the IAAF World Championships in London, rising middle distance star Georgia Griffith (Monash University) has secured herself a spot in the women’s 800m semi-finals in wet and humid conditions on the opening day of competition at the athletics.
Finishing her heat in third place as the final automatic qualifier, Griffith’s time of 2:04.17 was enough to see the 20-year-old Victorian through to the semi-finals on Thursday evening.
Griffith, who is enrolled in a Bachelor of Communication Design and Business, was happy to see herself progress through the rounds.
“I felt pretty good coming into the last 200m,” Griffith said.
“I got pretty lucky with positioning and it sort of opened up so I wasn’t boxed in and I was able to hang onto the leaders.”
In 2017 Griffith had a breakthrough season that saw her qualify for both the 800m and 1500m at the world championships.
“London was a very good experience. It definitely gave me confidence going into this,” Griffith said.
Middle-distance teammate Isaac Hockey (The University of Melbourne) equally found himself a final qualifying spot in his heat of the 1500m.
In dramatic fashion, Hockey lunged to the line in third place in 3:46.88, an exact time he shared with second placegetter Fernando Martinez Estrada of Mexico as well as fourth placegetter Joao Bussotti Neves Jr of Italy.
Incredibly, just 0.19 seconds separated first and sixth place.
Fellow Australian Adam Pyke faded in his heat of the 1500m, finishing in 8th place in 3:52.77 and will not progress to the final.
In other events at Taipei Stadium, Taryn Gollshewsky (Central Queensland University) found herself straight through to the final of the women’s discus after securing an auto-qualifying throw of 56.39m on her first attempt.
2015 women’s discus finalist, who also made her IAAF World Championships debut in London, set her personal best of 60.27m in Perth in September last year.
US-based distance runner Isobel Batt-Doyle (University of Washington) came in a solid seventh place in 34:32.13 in the women’s 10,000m, the only final of the first night of competition.
Joseph Baldwin (The University of Melbourne) couldn’t improve on his first jump clearance of 2.10m in the men’s high jump, and missed out on the final of 12, placing 14th overall.
In the women’s javelin, Australian pair Kathryn Brooks (The University of Melbourne) and Mackenzie Little (Stanford University) finished in 15th and 16thplace respectively with throws of 52.65m and 52.09m. They will not advance to the final.
In the men’s 100m first round, The University of Sydney pair of Jin Su Jung and Rohan Browning found the going swift. Jung, a 2015 Universiade finalist, clocked 10.67 for 4th in his heat, with Browning finishing 5th in his heat in 10.60. Neither qualified for the 2nd round.