IAAF World Indoor Championships, Oregon Convention Centre, Portland - March 17-20
Tom Walsh won the world indoor shot put title with a magnificent display of throwing. The 24-year-old part time builder nailed it breaking his own New Zealand national record, New Zealand indoor record and Oceania record with his winning performance of 21.78m. His series was 20.38, 21.60, 21.40, 21.64, 21.49 and 21.78. Andrei Gag of Romania was second with 20.89m and Filip Mihaljevic of Croatia third with 20.87m.
Walsh said that he felt pretty confident. "I knew I was in really good shape. I had nerves but not too m any and I controlled them really well. My first throw was nerves but I just needed to get one out there and after that normal throwing resumed," he said.
"I felt like I got in my groove and started to throw really well, and then I just kept on building and building," he added.
Walsh knew that anything over 21.50m would put him in with a chance.
"But to throw five over 21.40m in a world championship is ridiculous and amazing. I'm over the moon about it. It's unreal."
After taking the bronze medal at the last world indoor championships he said it was a special feeling on finally being a world champion on the back of intense training to get there.
"I had the shivers when I was on the podium and later people that didn't know you before wanted to talk to you now which is interesting. It's an amazing felling, for sure."
Jacko Gill who had a series of 19.49, x, 19.93 in the first three rounds did not progress to the top eight.
Valerie Adams won the bronze medal in the shot put , throwing 19.25m behind the winning effort of American Michelle Carter at 20.21m and Hungary's Anita Marton on 19.33m. Adams held the lead after an opening round 18.49m, but Carter took over in the second round with 18.90m. Adams came back in round three with 19.25m to go back into the lead but Carter come straight back with 19.31m. Meanwhile Marton edged into third with 19.01m. The positions remained unchanged until a big final round with Marton taking the lead with an impressive 19.33m. Adams could not respond and on the final throw of the competition Carter fired out a huge 20.21m to take gold to the adulation of the home crowd. It was It was Adams fifth medal at the world indoor championships making her the most decorated woman shot putter in indoor championships history with three golds, one silver and a bronze medal.
The twice Olympic and four times world outdoor champion was pretty happy with her performance.
"It was fun. I'm pretty happy with a bronze medal after what has been a tough 18 months. I'll take it and run with it and celebrate the small things. Like any athlete you want to do more and you want to win, but you take the good with the bad," she said.
"The expectation was to make the top-eight and then get a medal. I've been out for a little while and I haven't been challenged like this mentally for a very long time. It was definitely a good stepping stone for us to work on some things and overcome anxieties at an international level."
With the indoor season finished Adams now looks forward to the outdoor season starting possibly at the Diamond League meeting in Doha on 6 May where she will be up against Carter again.
"She threw very well and she always throws very well in the US in front of her home crowd. It's good for the sport and good for the event and I'm just happy to be back.
"The body is good, nothing hurt toady. This is a podium finish at a world championships, let's not lose sight of that. There's a lot of work to be done this next five months and a lot of competitions. It's going to be fun and challenging, but that's all part of international sport."
Nick Willis picked up the bronze in the 1500m, his first medal at a world championship, indoor or outdoor. After being disqualified in his two previous outings at the indoor champs in 2008 and 2014 the Olympic silver medallist went for gold with 400m remaining. As he did in Melbourne in 2006 for the gold medal at the Commonwealth Games Willis surged to the lead and held the field of nine at bay leading into the straight. But American Matt Centrowitz cheered on by the home crowd edged past in the last 30 metres and then fast finishing Czech Jakub Holuša just pipped Willis on the line for second. Centrowitz clocked 3:44.22, Holuša 3:44.30 and Willis 3:44.37.
Willis said that he was pleased that he had given himself every chance of taking the gold.
"I haven't pushed myself that hard that early in a race for a long time. But it's good to know I left everything on the track. Perhaps if I'd stayed back another couple of laps and saved all my energy for that last move," he said.
Willis was keen to run the race on his own terms in taking the lead.
"It was just to get going and do it early enough so I wouldn't have to be running around people. I've been disqualified in the last two world indoors because I got caught behind guys in the last couple of laps.
"If I ran out of energy at least I'd have a clean run to the line. If they passed me so be it. But they didn't pass me, and didn't pass me and I thought just pretend the 100m to go line was the finish line because if you hit that final bend in the lead it's very difficult for guys to pass you in the last 50m. But I had nothing left," said courageous Willis.
Willis' New Zealand indoor record is 3:35.80 set in Birmingham UK in 2010.
Eliza McCartney finished fifth in the pole vault improving twice on her New Zealand indoor record.
The 19-year-old cleared 4.70m to beat her indoor record of 4.27m set in June 2014.
McCartney opened with an easy clearance on her first attempt at 4.50, before passing at 4.60 and clearing 4.70 on her second attempt to move to a share of third place. She passed at 4.75 in an attempt to get among the medals but was not successful with three attempts at 4.80.
"I can't say I was happy with how I was jumping," she said after the event. "I was not doing so well technically, and was falling off the pole a lot. It was just not going out how I wanted it to.
"But I can't be unhappy with the height. It was a good height and shows I'm consistent. I would have loved to jump just a little bit better but it is what it is and it was just amazing out there so I'm just happy to be here."
She added that the 4.80m attempt felt good.
"The third jump felt better than others I'd done which is funny because it looked quite bad. It felt better than it looked. I had good height on it but I just came straight down because I came off the line of the pole which is never a good thing," she said.
"The run-up wasn't the best and I had slightly jelly legs on a few of them and wasn't controlling them too well. There were a lot of things I can learn from this competition. It's been a big learning experience.
"But I wouldn't have guessed fifth coming in, that's just really crazy. I don't know if I've got my head round that yet. It has been a long summer and I've just been working so hard since November. I'm looking forward to a little break just before we get back into training again," said McCartney.
American Jen Suhr with a championship record vault of 4.90m won the gold with compatriot Sandi Morris second with 4.85m and Ekatarini Stefanidi of Greece third clearing 4.80m.
McCartney, finished ahead the top two Diamond League vaulters in 2015, Fabiana Murer (Brazil) and Nikoleta Kyriakopoulou (Greece), the world all-time fifth and eighth vaulters respectively and collected US$6000 prize money.
With a gold by Tom Walsh, and two bronze medals by Valerie Adams and Nick Willis New Zealand finished eighth on the medal standings with the USA on top having won 23 medals.
New York City Half Marathon - March 20
Zane Robertson fighting through a sinus infection finished eighth in 1:02:37. He was taken to hospital after the race. Stephen Sambu of Kenya won in 1:01:16. Robertson holds the New Zealand half marathon record of 59:47 set in Japan in February last year.
Sydney Track Classic, Sydney Olympic Park Athletics Centre - March 19
Joshua Hawkins won the 110m hurdles in 14.04 (+0.5). Other winners at the Classic meeting were Nneka Okpala in the triple jump 13.52m (+0.6), Camille Buscomb 5000m 15:43.47 and Nick Southgate first equal in the pole vault with 5.32m. Eric Speakman was third in the 1500m in 3:40.78, Mackenzie Keenan fourth in the 400m hurdles in 59.44, Stuart Farquhar fourth in the javelin throw 73.30m, Angie Petty eighth in the 1500m in 4:15.01 and Katie Wright eleventh in the 1500m 4:17.79.
Queensland Track Classic, Queensland Sport and Athletics Centre, Nathan - March 19
Joseph Millar was second in the 100m in 10.33 (+1.2) just one hundredth of a second slower than his 2013 personal best. He was also second in the 200m in 21.34 into a slight head wind of 1.5. Cameron French won the 400m hurdles in 51.33. Elizabeth Lamb third in the high jump 1.79m and Robert Jopp third in the 400m in 49.20. Brooke Cull was fifth in the 400m in 56.31 and Laura Overton fifth in the javelin with a throw of 45.20m. Holly Robinson was eighth in the javelin throw 37.42m. James Mortimer was sixth in the 200m 21.74 (-1.5) and Rogan Ross sixth in the long jump with a PB 7.28m (+0.7). Michael Goldie 100m 11.02 (+2.8) (6r3), 200m 22.68 (-0.7) (5r2).
Asian 20km Racewalking Championships, Nomi City Ishikawa Prefecture - March 20
Alana Barber was just 11 seconds shy of securing another Olympic B standard in finishing tenth in 1:33:11. Barber has a best of 1:32:50 set in Melbourne last December.
North Harbour Bays Throwers Meeting, AUT Millennium Stadium - February 15
Julia Ratcliffe can finally lay claim to holding every New Zealand women's hammer throw record when she eclipsed Alexandra Tavernier of France New Zealand allcomers 2013 record of 69.63m.
Ratcliffe sent the hammer out in the sixth and final round to 69.93m to also better her New Zealand resident record of 69.27m. Her series was 67.03, 63.36, 64.95, 66.51, 67.60, 69.93.
Ella Pilkington was second with 52.32m. Anthony Nobilo had the 5kg hammer out to 61.11m. He also threw the 1.5kg discus 40.85m. Alexander Parkinson with the senior discus threw 49.39m. Nick Hailes 5kg HT 52.35m. Dominic Bravenboer 800g JT 48.10m. Mellata Tatola 1kg DT 39.65m, 3kg HT 48.18m. Connor Bell registered three personal bests, 5kg SP 13.97m, 1.5kg DT 48.25m and 4kg HT 45.31m.
Auckland City Athletic Club Meeting, Mt Smart Stadium - March 16
Ben Potter 200m 23.12 (+0.9), Michael Dawson 23.37. Sarah Pearce 100m 12.66 (+1.7) mx. Flora Brocherie 1500m 4:19.88 mx PB, Esther Keown 1500m 4:23.94 mx PB, Alannah Van Hout 1500m 4:43.54 mx PB.
Waitakere Track Challenge, Douglas Track and Field Henderson - March 16
Siositina Hakeai DT 56.80m, Te Rina Keenan 56.12m. Marshall Hall DT 55.48m, Alexander Parkinson DT 49.43m. Jamie Sowter 400m 59.43, LJ 5.41m (0.0). James Reid 400m 53.54. Danielle Print 80m H 13.34 (-1.4). Liam Speer LJ 6.59m (0.0).
Athletics Auckland Summer Series, Mt Smart Stadium - March 19
Recently crowned New Zealand sprint and long jump champion Matthew Wyatt won three events at the last meeting of the season. Wyatt won the 60m in 7.11 (-2.5), blasted the 100m into a strong head wind in 11.61 (-5.4) and won the long jump with a wind assisted 7.27m (+3.9). Young sprinting star James Guthrie-Croft was second in both sprints in 7.31 and 11.87. Rochelle Coster national women's 100m champion won the 60m in 7.58 (-2.6) from Mariah Ririnui 7.82 and the 100m in 12.41 (-5.1) from Fiona Morrison 12.79. In a re-match of the national championship Morrison again triumphed over Coster in the 100m hurdles in 13.97 (-5.1).The women's long jump went to Mariah Ririnui with a leap of 6.22m (+4.7). In the discus throw Marshall Hall was out to 56.46m and Te Rina Keenan 53.78m.
Huntly Half Marathon - March 20
Irish expat Ciaran Faherty won the 36th edition of the annual Huntly half marathon in 1:09:20. Faherty who has spent the last two years in Auckland won by over three minutes from David Lovelock (1:12:27) with Matt Murphy third in 1:19:33.
Faherty was second in the Lydiard Legend marathon last September and fifth in last year's Auckland marathon. Rowan Torckler former national cross country champion and second in this season's 10,000m championship won the women's half in 1:15:58 finishing third overall. Alice Mason runner up in the 2014 national 10,000m championship was second in 1:18:39 with Nancy Jiang third in 1:23:51. Mathijs Wetzels won the associated 10km in 35:30, 12 seconds ahead of Rhys Mildon with a further second to Peter Robinson. Olivia Ritchie won the women's 10km in 38:05, from Sarah Murphy 39:21 and Veronica Lang. Ashleigh Williams won the 5km outright in 19:29 from Elise Salt 20:24.
Waikato Bay of Plenty Secondary Schools Championships, Porritt Stadium - March 19
Charli Miller in the junior girls' middle distance races set school records of 4:42.81 in the 1500m and 10:19.88 in the 3000m. Previous records were 4:44.14 and 10:26.94 both held by Camille Buscomb. Isaiah Priddey set a record of 8:42.47 in the senior boys 3000m, breaking Aaron Pulford's record of 8:44.14. Priddey also won the 1500m in 4:01.42. Field event records were set by Ryan Ballantyne SB 5kg SP 19.10m, Amber Brown SG 3kg SP 13.75m and Tatiana Kaumoana IG 1kg DT 42.93m. Jessica Hood won the SG 400m in 59.13 and the 800m in 2:15.63.
Tasman Secondary Schools Championships, Saxton Field Athletics Track - March 16
Lucy Sheat 100m 12.31, 200m 24.99. Jared Lautenslager 3000m 8:46.51, Kalani Sheridan 8:57.06. Eloise Beattie U/14 1500m 4:57.48 schools record breaking Toni Hodkinson's 1986 record. Joe Ford U/15 DT 44.27m. Tess Haunch TJ 11.00m. Bailey Cotton 100m 11.24, 200m 22.87. Bridie Edwards 3000m 10:16.33.
Canterbury Secondary Schools Championships, Rawhiti Domain - March 15-19
Records set: Eva Rewiri U/15 PV 3.02m, Mai Broughton U/14 LJ 5.29m (+0.6), Lauren Stapylton-Smith U/14 TJ 10.36m (+1.2), Caitlin Bonne IG JT 39.89m, Caitlin Dickinson U/15 HT 37.45m, Isaiah Punivai U/15 HT 42.50m, Liliana Braun J/G 3000m 10:18.12. Girls open 4 x 400m relay Villa Maria College (Jessie Anderson, Tegan Duffy, Georgia Stroud, Olivia Burnham) 4:07.42, and Para-Athletes: Isiah Atherton U/15 100m 21.99 (-0.7) and SP 5.47m, Celyn Edwards B U/15 SP 8.03m, Jason Smith U/15 DT 22.52m.
Tom Gill won the senior boys 100m 11.57 (+0.7) and 200m 23.56 (+0.3). Harriet Bush won the senior girls 800m 2:20.69 and 1500m 4:51.55. Zoe van Eekelen won the intermediate girls 100m 12.80 (0.0) and 200m 26.09 (+0.2).
Otago Southland Secondary Schools Championships, Caledonian Ground - March 19
Records set: Michelle Lindsay open PV 2.65m, Jessica Senior U/15 500g JT 38.39m, Uilealea Lavea B U/14 4kg SP 12.97m, Anna Skerrett U/14 3kg SP 11.54m, Emma Ryan SG 3kg SP 12.86m, Zharna Beattie U/14 1kg DT 34.82m, Hamish Mears U/15 1.25kg DT 44.96m, Max Brown U/15 TJ 12.14m (+0.1), Emma McColl U/15 TJ 11.02m (+0.6), Ella McCall U/15 1500m 4:52.54, Nathan Hill U/16 1500m 4:07.86, Ellie Duncan U/16 400m 58.92 and 300m H 46.07, Flynn Murdoch U/14 80m H 762mm 11.89 (+1.5), B U/14 4 x 100m relay Kings High School (Gregor Clarkson, Duncan Trevithick, George Bates, Flynn Murdoch) 48.22, G U/15 4 x 100m relay Southland Girls' High School (Jessica Senior, Anna Skerrett, Dannika Collins-Wilmshurst, Emma McColl) 51.87, B open 4 x 400m relay Kings High School (Jacob Granger, Ben Kiore, Sam Gouverneur, Felix McDonald) 3:29.38.
NAIA Championships, Johnson City,March 3
Michael Vercoe-Curtis 1000m 2:31.70 (1h2), 2:30.53 (4).
NCAA Div 2, Pittsburg, March 11
Thomas heptathlon 5538 points (3), (60m 7.08, LJ 6.82m, SP 12.11m, HJ 1.97m, 60m H 8.29, PV 4.50m, 1000m 2:41.77).
NCAA Div 1, Birmingham, March 11
Julian Oakley mile 4:08.32 (6h1), 12 March: mile 4:07.75 (7).
Ben Brown Invitational, Fullerton, March 11
Chris Blake HJ 1.98m (6).