XX Commonwealth Games, Glasgow – 28 July/2 August 2014
It was an elated Nikki Hamblin who easily qualified for the final of the 1500m in a fast 4:05.08.
Drawn in the fastest of two heats Hamblin was taken out at a fast clip by Canada’s Nicole Sifuentes. The Delhi Games double silver medallist was well placed in second, third on the second lap and fourth going into the final circuit of the track. Hamblin was second behind Hellen Obiri of Kenya, the 2012 world indoor 3000m champion, who finished in 4:04.43.
It was Hamblin’s second fastest time ever, close to her personal best of 4:04.82 set in Spain in 2011.
While it was elation for Hamblin it was disappointment for London Olympics semi-finalist Lucy Van Dalen who missed making the final after finishing seventh in heat two in a time of 4:14.86, more than 2sec off her season’s best and 9sec outside her personal best.
Van Dalen said that it was a tough race.
“I tried to get myself in a good position cause only four from our heat would get through because the first heat went so fast. Going right into the last lap I thought I was in good place but then they kind of picked up another gear in the last lap and my legs just had nothing so it was one of those days unfortunately,” said Van Dalen.
“Some-times you don’t feel one hundred percent, some-times it’s just a bad day in the office today was one of them,” she added.
There was a twinge of disappointment for Tom Walsh after he won the silver in the shot put.
“Obviously I wanted the gold there’s no doubt about that, I’ll definitely take the silver it was a massive throw by O’Dayne Richards. I thought I had it in me but these things happen, and I tried my best out there and everything I’ve done is pretty good I think,” said Walsh.
Richards from Jamaica led after the first round with 20.94m and Walsh took over by 2cm after the next round with 20.96m. The big bomb from Walsh came in round four with 21.19m which only spurred Richards to respond with the winning performance of 21.61m, a new Games record and Jamaican national record.
“I thought my best might have been a PB, but I knew I had it in me that’s for sure I never thought it was out of my reach,” he added.
Walsh said that he was still missing it a bit.
“Just rushing these things, it’s a tough one to really look back right now. If I had my timing that I had yesterday and as calm as I was yesterday and things like that, it probably could have been pretty close, but today I probably got a little more tense as the competition went through and the pressure went on, but I never ruled myself out and I thought I had it in me.”
“I wasn’t letting the lower half of the body do the work because you don’t throw with the upper half. You learn from these experiences and hopefully I come out I’ll do a little bit better.”
Walsh’s next competition will be the Stockholm Diamond League on 21 August, and a few more comps before the Continental Cup on the 15 September.
Richards was full of praise for Walsh.
“He’s encouraging, he’s a good guy he smiles a lot he tells the other competitors to relax,” said Richards.
“I wasn’t that confident of beating him, he’s gone over 21 metres he got the bronze medal at the world indoor championships and he beat me there.”
Tim Nedow of Canada was third with 20.13m. Jacko Gill failed to make the final eight after the first three rounds where his best was 18.05m.
It was a top moment in Julia Ratcliffe’s athletic career in taking the silver medal in the women’s hammer throw with 69.96.
The 21 year old held second throughout the competition won by defending champion Sultana Frizell of Canada with a Games record of 71.97m.
Ratcliffe was consistent her series being 68.35, 68.68, 69.96, 69.33 and 69.47.
“I’m just over the moon,” said Ratcliffe.
“I was thinking that I was going to fight for the third and to get out there and get the silver unreal.”
“I was pretty calm but I don’t like it when they put me up on the screen because that’s where I put my head and I can see myself so I might look at myself in the eye while I’m throwing.”
Ratcliffe has two years to complete at Princeton University in the States.
Frizell was impressed with how Ratcliffe has progressed in the hammer event.
“She’s a baby. It was great to have Julia competing, and she’s got a pretty good future ahead of her in hammer throwing and I look forward to her over the next couple of years going into Rio,” said Frizell.
Four years on from winning the silver medal in the decathlon at the Delhi Commonwealth Games Brent Newdick was forced out with a foot injury after seven of the ten events in Glasgow.
The 29 year old five times New Zealand decathlon champion injured the bottom of his right foot during the take-off in the high jump on the first day. He cleared 1.93m, nine centimetres off his personal best.
Newdick, with a taped foot, struggled around the 400m in 52.87 again well outside his best of 49.20.
In pain he bravely faced the second day but was missing his usual sting in the 110m hurdles to finish in 15.47. He had two reasonable throws of 42.58m and 42.42m in the discus before calling it a day.
Newdick, who has won a total of 17 New Zealand titles over various events, has competed with distinction on the international stage having also won silver at the 2009 world university games and the bronze in the decathlon at the 2013 world university games. He has competed at three world championships and at the London Olympic Games.
Unfortunately the black singlet failed to complete the decathlon with Scott McLaren also withdrawing, with a heel injury just before the 400m on the first day.
After a slow run race Nikki Hamblin was unable to match the pace over the final 200m, but held on well for fifth place in the 1500m final in 4:10.77.
Former world youth and junior 1500m champion Faith Kibiegon of Kenya won in 4:08.94 from London Olympian Laura Weightman of England 4:09.24 and Canada’s Kate Van Buskirk 4:09.41.
Hamblin was well placed over the first three laps, after the field set out at a pedestrian pace of 71 seconds for the first 400m. The 800m came up in 2:18.95, with the three Kenyans across the front of the field, and the 1200m in 3:23.25. The race then developed into a sprint over the final 300m.
Hamblin the Delhi Commonwealth Games double silver medallist said that she felt really good during the run.
“I thought I was in a really good position, probably got caught a little bit just before 200m to go and a lot of girls came around me and when it is a slow run race like that whoever kicks first is nine times out of ten going to win. The kick came and I was just in too much traffic, I probably didn’t lose any ground over the last 100m,” said Hamblin.
The three times New Zealand 1500m champion added that she probably made a mistake with 250m to go.
“I can’t say that cost me a medal, I did what I could out there.”
The 26 year old said that she had hoped that the Kenyans would have taken it on and try and run.
“That would have suited me better but you can’t be surprised at anything in distance racing. That is the beauty of it, is that you have to make your decisions out there, your coach isn’t there telling you what to do at that point. You aim to be really fit and to be in really good shape, but you also have to get your head in the right place and be a really smart racer to win.”
Angie Smit and Nikki Hamblin both made it through to the semi-finals of the 800m after both not finishing in the first three in their heat for automatic qualification.
They were both lucky to be in the fastest two of the four heats. Smit finished fifth in heat three in 2:03.28 and Hamblin was fourth in the fourth heat in 2:03.32 both qualifying as the next fastest four.
Smit took up the pole position in second place as they broke lanes in the back straight and was still in control on the last lap but entering the straight for the run to the finish tied up badly.
“That last 100m my legs just completely went, I wasn’t quite expecting that last 100 to be that painful,” said Smit.
“I felt good before the race but just with a 100 to go just really locked up. I didn’t feel that great since the gun though to be honest, I don’t quite know what it was, but it’s an awesome atmosphere.”
Hamblin said that she was very lucky drawing the fourth heat as it gave her an extra 20 minutes recovery after the 1500m final yesterday.
A check by the English runner Marilyn Okoro down the finishing straight didn’t deter Hamblin who was going to make a run up the inside. She dropped back and went around Okoro and ended up heading her across the line.
“Angie and I pretty much ran the same time and two New Zealanders in the semi-finals of the 800 at the Comm Games, that’s pretty awesome.
“I’m going to get a good chunk of recovery time now relatively,” said Hamblin.
After a few anxious moments in clearing 1.81m Sarah Cowley soared over 1.85m and into the final of the high jump on Friday evening.
Needing to clear 1.88m or end up one of the 12 best out of two qualifying groups, Cowley was one of 10 who hit the 1.85m mark and qualified.
“It’s just great to be in the final, the job that’s the last tick and now it’s just like game on and anything can happen,” said Cowley.
“Just rest up now and go higher.”
Cowley, who has a personal best of 1.91m and a season best of 1.89m was over 1.71m and 1.76m on her first attempts but struck some trouble at 1.81m needing her third attempt to continue on.
“My jumps were really good when I jumped well and those first two at 1.81m were just a little bit adjusting to the feel of my run up, everything’s going really and sometimes it happens. It was such a relief clearing 1.85m and it was good to get it out at the first attempt and those kind of things just strengthen my mental game,” said Cowley.
Cowley said it was her first time to come into the Hampden Park Stadium.
“I wanted to come and feel it and it feels great, I loved it,” she added.
Valerie Adams captured the hearts of 44,000 spectators at Hampton Park as she sent the shot put out to 19.88m to claim her third Commonwealth Gold Medal and made it the 600th Commonwealth medal for New Zealand.
In cold conditions Adams’ winning performance came in the second round. Her best friend on the international circuit Cleopatra Borel of Trinidad and Tobago was second with 18.57m and Julie Labonte of Canada third with 17.58m.
“I’m pretty happy obviously the goal was reached today to win the gold medal, three peat, I’m pretty stoked going back to Melbourne, Delhi and now in Glasgow. It’s my coach’s birthday, it’s kind of like worked out quite well and I’m so proud to be a New Zealander.”
Adams admitted that the performance was a bit flat but technically fine.
“The big hype of the Commonwealth Games, the aim of the game is come here and win so we’ve been able to successfully do that. It was a bit flat I obviously wanted more but hey c’est la vie I won by a metre 30, winning by another two metres sure I would have got championship record but the goal was to win and today I’m happy to take this puppy home,” said Adams clutching her gold medal around her neck.
“The competition is there a win is a win, it is what it is, gold medal is what we came here for and gold medal is what we’re taking home,” she added.
Adams was surprised as to how many Kiwis there were in the stadium and stayed back for the medal ceremony which was held well after the evenings competition had finished.
“They all stayed back to sing the national anthem and enjoy the moment, a moment to savour which is awesome. Any time you get hear a national anthem is such a privilege and I’m just so proud to come from New Zealand and to be able to make our mark on the world stage especially at the Commonwealth Games, it is a three peat for me and that is something to celebrate.”
It was also the 29 year old’s 54th consecutive victory and she has now gone unbeaten since August 2010 and has not finished outside the top three in any international competition since 2005.
The third Commonwealth title adds to her two Olympic titles, four world and three world indoor titles.
Her personal best is 21.24m in winning the 2011 world title in Daegu South Korea.
Borel was full of praise for Adams.
“Val is great to compete against actually, she’s a great person, she’s just amazing so for me it’s not that I compete against Val I just try to improve myself and where ever that puts me that’s where I’m at because Val is just amazing and so I can’t destroy my chances by trying to be Val I’m just myself,” said Borel.
“Val does cast a large shadow on the event, but compared to other champions that we’ve had in the past, she’s just an amazing leader for the women’s shot put and every day I try to beat her,” she added with a laugh.
In almost parallel runs in their semi-finals Angie Smit and Nikki Hamblin both finished third to qualify for tomorrow’s final of the women’s 800m.
Smit came through on the inside down the back straight on the last lap and dug deep in the home straight to hold out Scotland’s Lynsey Sharp for third in 2:01.97.
World champion in Moscow last year Eunice Sum of Kenya won in 2:01.38 with Melissa Bishop of Canada second in 2:01.86.
The 22 year old three times New Zealand champion said that she was just so happy.
“It has been my dream all along, especially after yesterday’s race I was a bit concerned after hitting the wall. Today I did what Maria my coach said, to make sure I didn’t go out too hard and save something for that last part and it obviously paid off,” said Smit.
“I was a bit worried to be sitting in seventh place at one stage but then I knew that they were going out hard so I thought oh no just be patient, be patient is the main thing, stay relaxed to my form and just trust that I have that kick at the finish.
“I’m so stoked, to be in that final has been the dream and now I’ve got to focus on performing and doing even better hopefully in the final.”
Smit said that she was so happy for Nikki making the final also.
“It was an incredible run for her, her fourth day in a row of awesome racing. I’ve always looked up to her obviously because she’s a bit older than me. The double silver medallist from the last games so I’m so inspired by her and think she’s amazing and it will be pretty cool racing with her tomorrow, two Kiwis in the final hopefully we can both be on that dais will be incredible,” she added.
Hamblin down for the second semi also had the strength over the closing stages to edge out the other Scot Emily Dudgeon for third in 2:02.87. Jessica Judd of England won in 2:02.26 and Winnie Nanyondo of Uganda was second in 2:02.83.
The 26 year old double silver medallist at the Delhi Games said that if she can get through the first round the second round is very much easier for her because she is strong.
“My coach Steve said to run on the rail don’t run any extra distance, it is 800 metres not 804 metres and trust that the gaps are going to open later that was shot to get in the final and that happened. My coach is generally right.
“I’m stoked for Angie and I are going to be there I get to go through all of this one more time and I’m really excited to do that,” said Hamblin.
“I would hope it would be sub-two and I would hope that I can hang on as long as possible and use my strength in the last 100.”
“I have faith in my strength and my strength comes in over the last 200 to 100 metres that’s when I know a lot of the more sprint trained girls, like the 400/800 girls are going to tie up. Probably my training is more like a 5km runner and I do the miles so I know that I am strong and I know that I’m probably going to tie up less than anyone else, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to beat them to the line but it means it gives me a better shot.”
Requiring a throw of 57 metres or a least one of the 12 best in the qualifying rounds, 20 year old Siositina Hakeai easily qualified in fourth for the final of the discus throw on Friday evening.
The three times New Zealand champion and fourth at the world junior championships in Spain in 2012 opened with 54.40m, improving to 56.27m and in the third round landed a 57.19m.
Dani Samuels of Australia, the 2009 world champion, was the leading qualifier with an opening throw of 64.53m.
Hakeai said that going into the warm ups she was calm and relaxed.
“Then I started competition and the crowd just went crazy, I never competed in front of so many people and I think I let the nerves get to me, but the main thing is I qualified and that’s all that matters tomorrow’s the day that counts and I’m just going to leave my heart out on the field,” said Hakeai.
The largest crowd Hakeai had competed in front of before was at the world junior championships in Barcelona two years ago.
“But that had nothing on this tonight,” she quipped.
“I tensed up but got better and better and the main thing is I hit the automatic qualification and I can’t complain with that.
“I just pretended I was in training, as my training has been going really well and I just blocked everyone out,” she added.
Hakeai was been rooming with Valerie Adams at the games village and Adams was in the stands watching the young thrower going through her paces.
“I actually heard Val yell out during the competition. Val has been so supportive and has given me advice like just to calm down, the crowd’s going to be crazy and the crowd was crazy.
“I wanted to get the 57 metres on my first throw, but I didn’t. My second throw I kind of knew that the throw would get me to the final and my third throw I knew automatically I was there,” she added.
Her coach Matt Dallow had also advised her to just relax as he knows that she always tenses up.
“If I get a PB tomorrow and don’t medal I’ll be happy.”
Hakeai’s personal best is 59.65m at the Porritt Classic meeting in Hamilton in February.
Sarah Cowley finished ninth in the high jump final after clearing 1.86m on her third attempt but failing at the next level of 1.89m.
Eleanor Patterson of Australia won with a season’s best of 1.96m.
“That’s sport and that’s high jumping,” said Cowley on not clearing 1.89m.
“I felt good but just lacked rhythm on the 1.89. I jumped well at the earlier heights obviously I’m disappointed not to have got over that 1.89 and given myself another chance, but that’s what high jumping is about executing, it just didn’t happen,” she added.
“There’s no excuses you’ve got to bring it on the day, I did my best and my team prepared me so well and I’m so grateful to them and it’s just a shame I couldn’t deliver.
“I knew it would take a PB for me to be in contention and I’m in PB shape in terms of my form and everything that’s credit to my team.”
Cowley said that she now needs time to reflect on this latest performance.
“Even though I would like to have jumped higher I think it is important to just enjoy once I get over the disappointment of this campaign because I don’t know if it is my last jump or whatever but all I know it’s really been a privilege,” she said.
Nick Willis controlled the first heat of the 1500m from the front winning in 3:40.76 to proceed to tomorrow’s final. Jeff Riseley of Australia was second in 3:40.79.
Julian Matthews requiring to finish in the first four in his second heat was just piped on the line by Welsh runner Chris Gowell for the fourth place. Luckily Matthews had drawn the fastest of the two heats and his fifth place time of 3:40.33 had him through to the final. New Zealand’s third runner in the heats Zane Robertson was in the first heat and lacked the sting in the final 200m finishing seventh in 3:43.02, missing out on being one of the next four fastest for the final by 1.39s.
Both Willis and Robertson were through the mixed zone super-fast but Matthews said that he was trying to get the automatic spot.
“I’m very very happy with that and really looking forward to the final. The game plan was just to stick on the rail as I had one of the slowest PB’s going into the race so I knew I had to keep as much energy as I could for the last 400m, it just worked out perfectly I got an awesome start, right behind the two Kenyans blocking the wind for me, relaxed throughout till the 400m which I knew was going to happen,” said Matthews.
“I’m absolutely thrilled to be running with Nick (in the final) he’s been a hero of mine my whole career, awesome I’m just so happy.”
Matthews who has been in the Games Village since 22 July said that he was exhausted just keeping his nerves at bay leading up to the heats.
“The crowd was crazy, it’s my first big race for New Zealand, I couldn’t be happier with the result.”
Angie Smit held her form well on the last lap after a fast first lap of 58 seconds. She fought hard in the home straight but could not make any impression on the first four finishing fifth in 2:01.94.
Hamblin started slow and worked her way into the race over the first 500 metres, and finished seventh in 2:02.43. The world champion Eunice Sum won in 2:00.31.
Smit said that they went out pretty hard over the first 200 metres.
“So that’s why I sat back a little bit maybe I sat a bit too much because then I left myself with a lot of work to do to get around them the second lap and had to go quite wide. But if I had gone out hard I might have blown up, you just don’t know I gave it everything and tried to kick again from 100 but didn’t quite have it in the legs today,” said Smit.
“Fifth in the Commonwealth I can’t complain, hopefully the next time will be better.”
Hamblin said that she knew that it would be a fast start.
“Those girls are super fit and haven’t raced that much I’ve run eight 800’s in the past two or three years and three of them have been here,” said Hamblin.
“I’m not quite there in the first 200 metres, but that was okay because I knew it was come back I just had to keep calm. The race really starts at 600 and it’s the last 200 to see what everyone’s got and unfortunately my legs were no, we’ve given you everything that we’ve got so it’s one of those things,” she added.
“I was tying up bad over the last 80 metres and I said to myself just hold it, hold it and still hoping that some more girls would tie up in front of me but they didn’t tie up any more than me and there still wasn’t really any space, but I had to run the rail, the only way I was going to have a shot was to run the shortest distance.”
Hamblin said that she has the PB for the person who has gone through the call room the most times during these Games.
The New Zealand team of Portia Bing, Brooke Cull, Zoe Ballantyne and Louise Jones set a New Zealand national record of 3:34.62 in the heats of the 4 x 400m relay.
This betters the time of 3:35.90 set by the New Zealand team of Rebecca Wardell, Anna Smyth, Caro Hunt and Jane Arnott in Brisbane in 1999.
The latest squad had improved on this at a trial in Hamilton in April with 3:35.60 but this could not be ratified as they were the only team racing.
Ballantyne said that it was an unforgettable experience.
“It’s something I’m never going to forget running in a crowd that big. All I’m used to is the couple of people at Mt Smart Stadium,” she said.
Jones said that she was clocked at 52 on the last lap by her dad.
“We got the New Zealand record so we all ran our best,” said Jones.
Cull said that as a team running for their third time we’ve done a PB together.
“We gave it our best and come up here and had a great time so it was good,” said Cull.
Bing who led off said it was a crazy experience for her.
“To come from heptathlon and within five weeks to be a 400 metre runner and to start the relay, it’s a bit of a challenge but I’m glad I stepped up and took on the role, because honestly being here I think all of us can develop as athletes and help us get to the next stage,” said Bing.
Their next goal is the world championships in Beijing next year.
Siositina Hakeai had an opening throw of 57.94m and improved to 58.67m in round five for fourth place.
Hakeai said that it wasn’t the result she wanted.
“But hey I wasn’t far off the my PB and I can’t complain, my first Commonwealth Games, the youngest one on the field, came fourth, can’t complain with that and all I know is there’s a lot more to come from me and I’m going to take this as learning process and just work with it,” she said.
The three times New Zealand champion said that she was as nervous as hell.
“When I grabbed the discus my hand was shaking and I thought if I hold my breath will the shakes stop but no it didn’t,” she added.
Jake Robertson was well placed throughout most of the 10,000m, holding fourth place. Approaching the bell lap he shot to the lead but as the last lap unfolded he was checked a couple of times and was not up the front when the pace really went on.
He finished seventh in 28:03.70.
Robertson said that he was pretty upset with where he finished.
“There was a lot of talking going on amongst the Kenyans, every time we made a move they would let their man know that I was coming and they would move out on us, so we couldn’t really make a move easily and eventually stop us having an effect on the race they had it all their own way and I think that led to my failure in getting a medal,” said a disappointed Robertson.
“Also the lapped runners caused a problem in the 5km and the 10km, you’ve got to be looking out for them because people were using them like a tactic to stop you moving and that completely stops you rhythm and you have to stop and start again and that affected me,” he added.
His time was his second best behind his 27:45.46 in California last year.
It took just one throw for the Delhi Commonwealth Games javelin silver medallist to qualify for the final of the javelin throw.
Requiring a throw of 78 metres for an automatic qualification, Farquhar nailed it first up with 78.54m.
The 14 times New Zealand champion said it’s a good feeling to get it in that first round.
“It gives you that confidence. I didn’t quite nail it as well as I was hoping but it’s all there and tomorrow’s another comp and I look forward to that,” said Farquhar.
“My body is good and my technique is getting better so I’m hoping to step it up even more tomorrow in the final.
“I just want to win tomorrow,” he added.
With his trade mark finishing kick Nick Willis ranged up on the outside over the final 70 metres to snatch the bronze medal from South Africa’s Johan Cronje in a time of 3:39.60.
James Magut of Kenya, the silver medallist at the Delhi Commonwealth Games, won in 3:39.31 from compatriot Ronald Kwemoi who clocked 3:39.53.
Willis, 2006 Melbourne Games gold medallist and bronze in the 1500m at Delhi, said that his timing wasn’t the best.
“I timed it wrongly and that’s why I had a chance at only the bronze medal and not the other two but it was a relief hoping that I actually had at least salvaged a medal and I went straight over to the South African and said
‘sorry mate you deserved that far more than I did you ran a much more cagey and brave race you just faded a little bit at the end’, it was only my fitness that got me to that medal and not any tactical nous or brilliance or planning, said Willis.
The 31 year old Olympic 1500m silver medallist said that the plan was to get in the middle and just relax the first two laps.
“A little bit like I did in the heat and then slowly make my way up so I was right up with the Kenyans with 400m to go. But I didn’t learn the lesson from Delhi where the pace didn’t get going till the back straight,” he added.
Willis added that he got boxed in by two guys and had to be patient.
“And when I finally got out it was just at least salvage a respectable finish to get fourth and beat the Australian at least, you always want to beat the Aussies and then lo and behold they were coming right back to me in the last 30 metres and I gave it everything and it’s more of a relief rather a salvage of a minor medal rather any glory or satisfaction, the lap afterwards was more to thank the crowd rather than celebrate a performance.”
Willis added that he was probably still a bit flat from racing the 5000m.
Next up for Willis is a mile race next Sunday in Michigan where he hopes to give Sir John Walker’s New Zealand mile record of 3:49.08 a nudge.
Julian Matthews on a steep learning curve of international racing was ninth in 3:41.84.
The 26 year old from Nelson said that he got a good start again, but it was a struggle to hold it.
“There was a lot of pushing, a lot of shoving Nick nearly went down a few times which I was worried about but no it’s a big learning curve for me, obviously the biggest race of my life,” said Matthews.
“I’ll take a lot from it and learn and get better and hopefully next time give it a better shot.”
On the second lap Matthew lost some ground on the second lap when Willis came through on the inside.
“I just didn’t hold him off, I should have held that ground, hey I’m happy it was Nick and not someone else, I need to be holding my ground really.”
After a slow start Lucy Van Dalen was in the opening group of runners, but when the Kenyans up the tempo mid-way through the race the field strung out and Van Dalen was left back in 12th for most of the journey.
The 25 year old in only her fourth 5000m race finished 13th in 15:58.43.
Mercy Cherono of Kenya, the silver medallist at last year’s Moscow world championships, won in 15:07.21 from compatriot Janet Kisa 15:08.90 with Jo Pavey of England spoiling a Kenyan clean sweep shutting Margaret Muriuki out of the bronze in 15:08.96.
Van Dalen said that it went off really slow.
“I tried to relax but suddenly there was a bit of a burst the pace kind of just went and I tried to change my gears and stick with it, I just wasn’t on my best today and it was a bit of a battle I must say.
“But I’m pleased I got through it and I really tried my best and that was as good as I could do today.”
The London Olympic Games 1500m semi-finalist added that she is still learning to race 5000m in championship races.
Her personal best is 15:21.08 at the Mt Sac Relays meeting in California in April last year.
On a tricky run up in persistent rain Stuart Farquhar had only one recorded throw in the javelin throw final, his opening effort of 78.14m.
This placed him fifth in a competition won by Julius Yego of Kenya with 83.87m from the London Olympic champion Keshorn Walcott of Trinidad and Tobago 82.67m and Australia’s Hamish Peacock 81.75m.
Farquhar 14 times New Zealand champion and silver medallist from the Delhi Games, said that the weather didn’t affect him.
“To throw big and stuff, today wasn’t my day. I was just a bit out of sync with my throwing it wasn’t quite right there, it’s a bit of a shame I was really pumped and my body was feeling really sharp today, it’s a shame I couldn’t really express myself as well as I should of,” said Farquhar.
That’s the end of the season for Farquhar and he will now rest up and reflect on this season.
“I will keep going, I’m not going to stop yet and I’ll definitely be looking forward to next year and try and step it up and get myself out of this little bit of a low period.”
Otago Cross Country Championships, Waikouaiti Race Course – 26 July 2014
Peter Meffan won his third consecutive Otago cross country title, covering the 12,000m in 41:09. Stafford Thompson was second in 42:28. Shireen Crumpton collected her ninth women’s title recording 32:20 for the 8000m. Crumpton first won in 1998. Mary Gray was second in 34:48. Susannah Lynch junior women’s 6km in 24:19, by one second from Charlotte Cahill. Joshua Baan won the junior men’s title running the first 8000m of the senior race in 26:20. Master winners Neale McLanachan 8km 28:17 and Louisa Andrew 6km 22:51. Hanna English won the youth 4km in 15:03 and Oliver Chignell the youth 6km in 21:04.
ROAD RACES AROUND THE COUNTRY
Rat Race 5km Takapuna, 30 July: Stuart Grange 15:45, Ryan Williams 18:45.
Cornwall Park 5km, 2 August: Daniel Chen 18:25, Gene Rand 18:34.
Taupo Half Marathon, 3 August: Matt Parsonage 1:15:30, Bobby Dean 1:17:39, Clyde Rosanowski 1:18:37. Sue Crowley 1:24:22, Erin Furness 1:26:04, Jessica Dean 1:28:03. 10km Aaron Jackson 38:00. Lydia Hale 41:18.
Botanic Garden 5km Parkrun, 2 August: Neale McLanachan 18:01.
Athletics New Zealand