Above: Ryan Ballantyne in action at the 2018 NZ Championships in Hamilton.
Ryan Ballantyne was the first of the Kiwi athletes at the IAAF World U20 to qualify for a final, but the shot put qualification didn’t go as smoothly as he would have liked.
The throw that got him to the final in ninth place (19.03m) came on the last of his three attempts and he had to wait until the second qualifying group had finished to find out the he had made the top 12 for the final by 0.14m.
"I managed to squeeze through as 9th qualifier with 19.03m. There's lots left in the tank and I'm really excited to throw the dice in the final this afternoon," said Ballantyne after his successful qualifying effort.
In the final, the 19 year old from Te Awamutu improved his distance to 19.39m, finishing eighth. His best throw came in the second round while three of his final four attempts were fouls.
New Zealand’s other competitor in the shot put Nick Palmer had all sorts of trouble, striking fouls on his first two qualifying attempts and reaching 16.82m on his final attempt, 2.10m short of his best set 10 days earlier in England. He missed out on the final, with a final ranking of 26.
Sam Tanner placed seventh in his 1500m heat in 3:47.10, just 0.41s outside his PB for 16th overall, only 0.78s away from making the final.
"I'm happy - the 1500 is always a fun race. It wasn't the result I wanted but it was a pretty cool experience to run against people who are faster than me."
Isaiah Priddey has shown some excellent form in the lead-up to the championships but was not able to respond when the pace went on in the third of three heats , coming in 10th in 3:52.42 to exit the championships with a ranking of 21st.
Olivia McTaggart, seeking to qualify for the women’s pole vault final started shakily, clearing 3.80 on her first attempt but needing all three attempts to get over 3.95m, before going on to clear 4.10m and 4.20m to make the final in two days.
“It was a little bit stressful but I’m feeling good now,” said McTaggart. “I’ve never had to go through qualifying before but needed a few attempts at some of the heights. It’s good to get that out of the way.”
The other Kiwi in the event, Imogen Ayris needed three attempts to get over her opening height of 3.80m, before clearing 3.95 on her first, but missing all three at 4.10m to finish in 19th place, outside the top 12 required to progress to the final.
Chris Dryden was the last New Zealander in action on the first day of the championships, finishing 24th in the men’s 10,000m recording 31:36.03, ahead of his pre-championships ranking in the event.
New Zealand Results