IAAF World Athletic Championships, London - 4/13 August 2017
Joseph Millar easily qualified for the quarter finals of the 100m after finishing second in the fourth and final preliminary round. The four time New Zealand champion recorded 10.29 easing up behind Ramon Gittens of Barbados who clocked 10.25. The first three and the next two fastest times advanced to the next round. Millar who has a best of 10.18 in winning this years national title in a New Zealand record.
Millar was satisfied with the performance and was in awe of the atmosphere in the stadium.
"I didnt want to push too much I sort of just wanted to feel it out and really take on the experience in the first round. In warm up my legs felt quite good so I just wanted to feel it out and make sure I had enough energy for the next round coming up in an hour," said Millar.
He said that the stadium looks a lot bigger inside than it does from the outside "Just the volume of people the noise and just how quiet it gets with how many people are there. Its something Ive never experienced before, never been in a stadium especially whats considered the best in the world.
He added his body is well for the races ahead at the Championships.
"I had a knee niggle that hasnt shown its head in the last three days, so my legs feel great so as long as I find the shapes and hit the right notes Im sure Ill run faster than I ever have and thats all it takes," said Millar.
Marshall Hall failed to fire in the qualifying rounds of the discus throw, following a foul with 56.64m and 54.20m well short of the automatic qualifying standard of 64.50m.
The eight times New Zealand champion who has a best of 64.55m was disappointed with his debut performance at a World Championship.
"I just went out there at the first World Champs prepared as well as I could. It turns out when you go out there and try and smack the crap out of it it doesnt tend to come off every time," he said.
"The atmosphere was awesome with a big loud crowd, but tonight wasnt my night."
"Its upwards and onwards for me I take this on the chin and put it in the bank and just charge on."
Joseph Millar in round one of the 100m started from lane five in the fourth of six heats and finished fifth in 10.31, well outside a time needed to qualify as one of the six fastest outside the first three in each heat.
Millar said the whole experience was a lot of fun.
"Not quite happy with the time that I ran, but there was a lot more things happening around me that time and a little bit tired from the earlier round but I was just hoping that that would have warmed the legs up enough to come through," he said.
"Its all been learning for the 200m later on, and then the bigger target of the Commonwealth Games next year," he added.
Millar said it has been a childhood dream come true, no matter what I do out on the track I just know theres a little boy in the past who wanted all this and Ive finally have given them that. To get all the support and well-wishers from family and friends back home has been really cool, just to know that Im making people proud. Although I didnt run the times that I was after Im sure some people were looking to me to go a bit faster but the fact that I got here and had the opportunity is just something I feel really blessed about," said Millar.
He added that the support from the crowd had been great.
"Getting down to the blocks, the crowd goes quiet and someone calls out go Kiwi it chucks a smile on my face, and gets me good and ready to go."
Eliza McCartney just sneaked into the final of the womens pole vault after making her second attempt at 4.50m. Requiring 4.60m for automatic qualification McCartney started at 4.35m which she cleared on her second attempt and then 4.35m.
McCartney said it was not good.
"It was not good, but good at the same time. Maybe the lack of vaulting in the last month caught up to me a little bit and I was struggling to control my legs a bit they were getting out of my control and they were a bit jelly and I was doing all sorts of strange things. It wasnt ideal but I can count my lucky stars.
"My Achilles held up really well, so thats promising for the final it means it is competition ready. Im just a little bit rusty but this is a really good warm up now, since the final is in two days," she said.
Zane Robertson finished 16th in the 10,000m final in 27:48.59 a minute behind popular winner Mo Farah of Great Britain. Robertson was not in good shape coming off the track with cramping around the hips.
Tom Walsh and Jacko Gill both automatically qualified for the final of the shot put with their first round attempt in the qualification groups.
Walsh was out to a seasons best of 22.14m, just seven centimeters short of his New Zealand national record, and was the best from the 32 in the two groups. Gill was in the other group and qualified before Walsh with the fifth best throw from the two groups of 20.96m. Automatic qualifying was 20.75m.
Walsh said it is simple when you qualify the way he did.
"Im really happy with having the best throw, the ease of it, the smoothness of it, bodes well for the final," said Walsh.
"I didnt think Id throw that far this morning so it must mean that Im going to throw even further tomorrow night," he added.
"I was just concentrating on the freedom, moving really well off the back and nice and full and it was just so smooth and exactly what I needed."
"Im also pleased for Jacko, the first of any of the throwers to qualify. Its really good for him to get through on number one throw and every time he comes to a major he just keeps getting better and better.
And again two Kiwis in the final, its great," said Walsh.
Gill said his performance was okay.
"The warm ups werent very good only had one over 19.50m, but that didnt matter as I did alright," said Gill.
"My technique was a little bit off but I had a lot of adrenalin and power behind it and gave it everything I could and I wasnt expecting it to be that far."
"Ive never qualified on my first throw before, at world juniors or anything, so I couldnt have asked for more, this is ideal," he added.
"Ill be after to go over 21 metres in the final, and I think there is a really good chance of doing something pretty good for the country."
David Storl of Germany who held a number of age group shot put records that Gill later broke, said it was a good performance from both Walsh and Gill.
"Good qualification from both of them," he said.
"Im happy with my 21.41m it is a good first throw and was enough for the qualification mark," added Storl.
Rio Olympic champion Ryan Crouser qualified sixth with 20.90m.
"It wasnt my best or prettiest throw, but I cant complain with a first round qualifying it is what I came out here to do, so I got the job done and Im excited for tomorrow night," said Crouser.
"Me and Tom are good friends and he threw really well this morning so I think it is a sign that there should be some far throws tomorrow night,"
There were some anxious moments for Joe Kovacs 2015, world champion and silver medalist at Rio, who qualified 10th with 20.67m.
Julia Ratcliffe did not qualify from the preliminary rounds in the javelin throw, finishing 14th out of 16 in her group. Requiring a throw of 71.50m for automatic qualification for the final, Ratcliffe opened with 64.67m, followed up with 64.72m and finished with 61.88m.
"My performance wasnt great, but Im not going to cry about it as Ive got the world uni games in a couple of weeks so Ive just got to turn around and have redemption to it," said Ratcliffe.
"Where the force was wasnt quite right, but youve just got to go for hell and hope it goes right and if it doesnt theres always the next time," she added.
It was a long lonely road around the 25 laps of the London Stadium for Camille Buscomb, who finished 30th in the 10,000m in 33:07.53. With her long flowing blonde hair Buscomb was towards the back of the field from the start. The 5000m came up in 16:20 and Buscomb was unable to maintain contact with a group of runners and spent the remainder of the race battling her way on her own. Meanwhile out front world record holder Almaz Ayana of Ethiopia was tearing up the track lapping a number in the race to win the world title in 30:16.32, 46 seconds ahead of compatriot Tirunesh Dibaba with Agnes Jebet Tirop of Kenya third in 31:03.50.
Buscomb acknowledged that she didnt feel very good and doesnt know what the problem is.
"Im just not quite right, whether it because Ive been doing a lot of training. Its real unfortunate," said Buscomb.
"Maybe Im a bit fried, I havent been feeling my best for a while but maybe Ive just got to keep pushing and keep training and Ill be right.
"But I just felt horrible the whole way. You never really know because you dont get a chance run many and you cant tell exactly how your trainings going, you think maybe its because youre tired from all your training. I just dont know. Its a long way when youre feeling terrible," she added.
"Its a long grind when every step is pretty hard, but I didnt want to pull out."
Tom Walsh achieved his goal by winning the World shot put title with a consistent series of throws culminating with his final effort of 22.03m.
It was a delighted Walsh who did a victory lap of the track draped in the New Zealand flag.
"It feels pretty good mate, thats exactly what we came here to do was to win and to do that and to throw so well through the whole comp its something pretty special and it is pay back for all the time and effort the team behind me have put in," said Walsh soaking in the realisation that he can now add the outdoor world title to the indoor title won in Portland Oregon last year.
It was a surprise to Walsh that he was the first New Zealand male to win a medal at a World Championship.
"Its pretty good isnt it," was a surprised response from Walsh.
"Its amazing it makes it even better doesnt it. It keeps on getting better."
From Queen Bea, Beatrice Faumuina discus champion in 1997 to Dame Valerie Adams shot put champion, 2007, 2009, 2011 and 2013 and now to possibly Sir Tom in 2017.
He avoided two protests from his American rivals Ryan Crouser and Joe Kovacs. Crouser fouled a 22.31m throw in round three and Kovacs in the last round a 22.08m effort but both appeals were rejected by the jury of appeal.
The 25 year old Timaru builder opened with 21.38m to hold the lead until Kovacs further down the throwing order was out to 21.48m in his first attempt. Walsh responded in round two with 21.64m improving to 21.75m in the third round. Kovacs best of 21.66m in round three earnt him the silver and Stipe Zunic of Croatia took out the bronze with 21.46m.
Walsh and his coach Dale Stevenson, who he described as a hippie from Australia, have formed an formidable partnership over recent years culminating in this victory. One of the keys to Walshs success is consistency, and that was a hallmark in London with three of his efforts good enough to win the competition and the final five throws all 21.63m or better.
New Zealands other shot putter in the final Jacko Gill just missed making the top eight that went through for a final three throws after his third round of 20.82m.
"My last throw was one of the better throws Ive done but it wasnt quite enough on the day. I missed the top eight on a count back (with
Whiting) so a little disappointing.
"I give it a pass to get ninth in the world so Im pretty happy with that but you always want more," said Gill.
Hell have wo more competitions in Poland and Germany before returning to New Zealand.
A recent Achilles tendon injury took its toll on Eliza McCartney as she bowed out of the final of the pole vault at the World Athletics Championships in ninth place after failing at her three attempts at 4.65m.
The darling of the Rio Olympic Games after winning the bronze medal opened at 4.45m took her second attempt to clear at 4.55m and missed out at the next height.
"I put everything out there but I dont really know what went wrong, Ill need to look at the video," said McCartney.
"The last attempt (at 4.65m) I put everything into it and I blew through which means that the pole was just too soft and there is no way I could have jumped it so its kind of a good thing because it means that I jumped really well, just on the wrong pole," she explained.
"The tendon is fine now but I guess whats hard to work out is all the training that I missed and how much effect thats had.
"My first world champs and to come ninth is pretty exciting," she added.
Ekaterini Stefanidi from Greece won the gold medal, clearing 4.91m and American Sandi Morris cleared 4.75m for silver, replicating the first two positions from Rio. Venezuela's Robeilys Peinado won bronze at 4.65m.
World Para Junior Athletic Championships, Notwill - 3/6 August 2017
3 August: Libby Leikis ran a personal best and New Zealand record of
32.54 (+0.3) in the U/20 T35-38 200m. She finished seventh. Anna Steven produced a personal best of 33.65 (-1.0) for sixth place in the U/18
4 August: Anna Steven T44-47 U/18 100m 15.80 (+0.9) PB (7).
5 August: Libby Leikis T35-38 U/20 100m 15.61 (-0.3) PB (8). Jack Lewer
F20 U/20 SP 10.70m (1) Gold Medal.
6 August: Guy Harrison T35 U/18 800m 2:44.46 PB (2).
CAS Meeting, Schifflange, 30 July: Katrina Anderson 800m 2:06.85 (2).
Ballart Cross Country 15km, Lake Wendouree Victoria, 29 July: Ben Ashkettle 46:54 (5).
Winter Series No 3, 5 August: Zac Topping 100m 10.96 (+1.8). Jordan Peters 100m 11.50 (+1.8). Jacob Aomarere-Poole HJ 1.80m. Callum McConachy HT 39.30m. Lea Muetzel HJ 1.60m.
Greta Valley Marathon Relay - 5 August 2017
Papanui Toc H (Jeremy Penrose, Ben Musson, Alex Cowden, Andres Hernandez, Dan Bennett, Jake Stamper) 2:30:43. University of Canterbury (Tracy Croft, Maggie Chorley, Lee Ward, Matt Dryden, Angela Whyte, Malcolm Cornelius) 2:54:49.
Peninsula Relay - 6 August 2017
Caversham (Phil Coakes, Nick Heng, Alex Brown, Matthew Wong, Easther Sibbald, Neville Scott) 1:59:34 1, Hill City University (Jacqui Hadingham, Graham Murphie, Mike Dooley, Pam Wyber, Angela Low, Mike
Weddell) 2:00:34 2, Leith (Claire Giles, Lesley McCormack, Evelyn Armstrong, Alison Newall, Sue Kim, Jilly OBrien) 2:11:06 3.
- This story has been automatically published using a media release from Athletics New Zealand