Stuart Farquhar made it 13 national men’s javelin titles on the bounce (14 in total) crown as the venerable warrior for New Zealand athletics brought the curtain down on a thrilling day of action at Newtown Park.
The 2010 Commonwealth Games silver medallist and 2012 London Olympic finalist was a little short of his absolute best but still proved the domestic king as a best effort of 78.16m was enough to take the gold medal.
Behind, Farquhar’s training partner Ben Langton-Burnell pushed him hard as the emerging 21-year-old from Manawatu Wanganui three times bettered his previous lifetime best to secure silver with three throws beyond 74m - the best of which landed at 74.69m in round three.
Farquhar (Waikato BoP) described his 14th New Zealand crown as a “good feeling” and was positive about his overall form and fitness.
“I’m actually pretty happy with a lot of aspects of my throwing today,” he added. “It wasn’t a B qualifying (for the Commonwealth Games), but I’m happy with how my body is during run up – I just haven’t made that connection yet with the javelin. These 77m and 78m throws are just lead out throws. I have not yet applied power into them. So it is quite promising. I have some big throws in me once I work this out.”
Farquhar, who plans to compete at next week’s Australian Championships, also praised the performance of Langton-Burnell
“He’s dramatically improving and making good gains, explains Farquhar. “He is still young and it won’t be long before he reaches the 80m mark.”
Fiona Morrison created her own slice of history here today by becoming the first woman in 42 years to secure the 100m and 100m hurdles double at a New Zealand Track & Field Championships.
Morrison a shock winner of the 100m yesterday successfully defended her 100m hurdles title – and speciality event – with a solid performance to take gold in 13.62 – almost one-and-half-seconds clear of Ashleigh Sando of Manawatu Wanganui (15.03) in silver.
“I’m very pleased with the year so far,” said Morrison who matched the achievement of Brenda Matthews in 1972. “I didn’t expect to win the 100m but I think I’m in the best form I ever have been in”, added the part-time project manager from Canterbury who returns to Newtown Park tomorrow hunting a third medal of the championships in the 200m.
Michael Cochrane warmed up for tomorrow’s bid to successfully bank a Commonwealth Games qualifying mark in the 400m hurdles by retaining his national title over the 110m hurdles with a slightly surprising victory.
Auckland’s Josh Hawkins started the pre-event favourite but it was Cochrane (Waikato BoP) who produced the smoother run to stop the clock in a personal best of 14.04 to equal the championship best performance and prevail by 0.06.
Cochrane, who has come within 0.02 of the Commonwealth Games B qualifying mark of 49.70 for him preferred event, said: “The 110m hurdles is not my priority, but it is something I enjoy and I wanted to help give Josh a push as he tries to qualify for the Commonwealth Games.
“I have only trained three 110m hurdles sessions all season, but I like getting a good hit out before the 400m hurdles and it is something that really gets me up for the event.”
Siositina Hakeai impressed in the women’s discus to win a hat-trick of New Zealand titles with a third round effort of 58.77m – beyond the Commonwealth Games B standard of 58.50m.
In a wonderfully consistent series – the 20-year-old produced four throws in advance of 58m to dominate the competition and finish well clear of her fellow Aucklander Te Rina Keenan (52.49m).
Hakeai, who placed fourth at the 2012 World Junior Championships, had earlier this season set a personal best of 59.65m.
Sarah Cowley landed her third New Zealand title in the women’s high jump but missed out on the Commonwealth Games B standard with three unsuccessful attempts at 1.88m.
The Auckland athlete cleared 1.84m at the first time of asking to defeat Liz Lamb (1.80m), the 2012 and 2013 champion. However, the vital standard which would have opened the pathway to Glasgow eluded Cowley on this occasion. Emma Sutherland (Canterbury) with 1.80m took the bronze on count back from Keeley O’Hagan (Wellington), who placed fourth.
Kerry Charlesworth (Auckland) with a best of 3.85m regained the women’s pole vault title she last won in 2011.
By Steve Landells reporting from the 2014 New Zealand Track & Field Championships in Wellington