With all the attention rightly focused on Tauranga's Joseph Millar breaking two national sprint records at the NZ Track and Field National Championships held in Hamilton over the weekend, the performance by Amy Robinson in the 400m was overlooked.

The fact the Tauranga Ramblers athlete won a bronze medal is reason enough to celebrate her achievement but no athlete running in Saturday's 400m final had quite the build-up that Robinson had.

The versatile athlete who has represented New Zealand in athletics, beach volleyball and hockey spent the morning training with the Black Sticks women's hockey team in Auckland ahead of the test series against USA next weekend in Rangiora.

Then she made a mad dash down the motorway to get to Porritt Stadium in time.


There was an inkling of what was to come in the heats on Friday when she ran a controlled race to finish third in a time of 59:16 and qualify for the final automatically.

Tauranga Ramblers president Malcolm Taylor said it was a remarkable race by Robinson in the final.

"Having trained with the Black Sticks in the morning she stunned the crowd and other athletes by leading the 400m at the halfway point. She then held off her Waikato Bay of Plenty teammate Meg Hamilton-Reid with a desperate dive over the finish line for third place in 57:31 to Meg's 57:42," Taylor said.

The gold was won by Megan Kikuchi of Auckland in 56.94 with the silver going to Jamie Sowter also of Auckland in 57:04.

Taylor said what made Robinson's performance truly outstanding was her performance at a Waikato Bay of Plenty Open meeting at Tauranga Domain on March 11 where she ran 63.01s for the 400m.

"She never looked a New Zealand Championships finals prospect as she looked very dejected with the Tauranga result," he said. "So a bonus bronze medal for a very popular athlete."