Athletics: Seven Kiwis ranked in world top 50

Nick Willis. Photo / Brett Phibbs
Nick Willis. Photo / Brett Phibbs

Seven New Zealand athletes have finished 2011 ranked in the top 50 in the world in 10 different events.

Valerie Adams leads the way with a number 1 ranking in the shot put, followed by Kimberley Smith at number 4 in the half marathon while Nick Willis leads the men at number 8 in the 1500m.

Junior shot put sensation Jacko Gill makes his first appearance at number 30.

Willis also features in the mile rankings, while Kimberley Smith also appears in the 10,000 metres and 5000 metres.

Others to make the cut include javelin thrower Stuart Farquhar (17th), decathlete Brent Newdick (23rd) and Nikki Hamblin (35th) in the 1500 metres.

Four throwers appear in the top 20 juniors in the world. Gill, Tomas Walsh, Julia Ratcliffe and Siositina Hakeai are ranked.

Gill is number 1 in the shot put and 5th in the discus and Hakeai is also 5th in discus and 16th in the shot put.

Joshua Hawkins (3rd 110 metres hurdles and 20th 200 metres) makes the youth list, along with pole vaulter Nicholas Southgate at 13th and Merewarihi Vaka at 14th in the discus.

New Zealand Athletes Ranked in the World Top 50 in 2011

Men
1500m 3:31.79 8th Nick Willis
Mile 3:51.95 13th Nick Willis
Javelin Throw 84.21m 17th Stuart Farquhar
Decathlon 8114 points 23rd Brent Newdick
Shot Put 20.38m 30th Jacko Gill

Women
Shot Put 21.24m 1st Valerie Adams
Half-marathon 67:11 4th Kimberley Smith
10km 32:06 22nd Kimberley Smith
5000m 15:14.02 40th Kimberley Smith
1500m 4:04.82 35th Nikki Hamblin

***

Lucy Van Dalen would have been ranked 5th with her 4:32.95 Mile, but this was indoors.

Nikki Hamblin would have been ranked 13th with her 8:50.92 3000m, but this was in a mixed gender race.

New Zealand Junior and Youth Athletes Ranked in the World Top 20 in 2011

Junior (Under 20)

Men
Shot Put 22.31m 1st Jacko Gill
Shot Put 20.56m 5th Tom Walsh

Women
Hammer Throw 62.28m 11th Julia Ratcliffe
Discus Throw 53.16m 18th Siositina Hakeai

Youth (Under 18)

Men
Shot Put 24.45m 1st Jacko Gill
110m Hurdles 13.44 3rd Joshua Hawkins
Discus Throw 62.05m 5th Jacko Gill
Pole Vault 4.95m 13th Nicholas Southgate
200m 21.23 20th Joshua Hawkins

Women
Discus 53.16m 5th Siositina Hakeai
Discus 50.03m 14th Merewarihi Vaka
Shot Put 14.56m 16th Siositina Hakeai

- APNZ

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