Athletics Correspondent Murray McKinnon caught up with Athletics NZ High Performance Director Scott Goodman at the conclusion of the World Athletics Championships in Moscow.
Athletics New Zealand high performance director and team leader in Moscow is full of praise for the contribution that Valerie Adams and her team had made to the younger members competing at the world athletic championships.
“Valerie for us here was sensational in that her coach Jean-Pierre and physio Lou Johnson really worked closely with us. They had a couple of discussions with the whole team particularly some of the younger groups. We probably will have, I predict, 18 to 20 athletes at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games and we are going to use Cardiff as our pre-camp. So some of our young coming through athletes (that will be in Glasgow) Valerie is very interested in supporting them. She was really involved with our team and we sat down with Angie and the Robertson brothers and talked about what it takes to actually prepare to compete at major events,” he said.
Overall Goodman said that he would have to be a bit disappointed with the overall result at Moscow.
“There were some good things with Quentin Rew and Angie Smit and Zane Robertson were probably the things if you’re looking for Rio were good results. Nick had a set back about eight weeks ago and missed four weeks training. Obviously Val was sensational and that’s a good outcome. Brent Newdick was down a bit. He got a stomach bug during the decathlon, but he’s had an interrupted last six months with surgery. Jake fell in the bath tub the day before he was about to compete so that was a semi-disaster for us as well. It wasn’t a bad physical injury but it just upset his preparation and psychological approach.
“Nothing really clicked for us – so a top 16 are pretty important to us, like Angie was seventeenth, Quentin was seventeenth, but I’m not drastically disappointed but we would have liked to have got a little bit better. Kim Smith wasn’t here and Jacko and Tom Walsh if they’d been here probably would have been top 12, so I think we’re still programme wise looking okay for Rio and will more than likely have a pretty strong team for Commonwealth Games next year,” said Goodman.
“Two athletes like Kim and Nick, either not being here or not being in full flight affects your top eight goals. Once Jacko starts throwing the open implement again he’d be in the top six here based on what we’d predict and Tom Walsh would probably be on the brink of top eight, but we couldn’t pick him as he was off qualifying by one centimetre after 20.07m and 20.09m. Here 19.76m got you through to the top 12 and top eight qualifying was 20.18m and in the final 20.39m.
“Tom is 21 and Jacko 18 so in three years time will be perfect for them and I think people will have confidence in our programme – we are getting a lot of things right,” he added.
Short of calling the final result mediocre Goodman said they were hoping to have five athletes in the top sixteen.
“And probably three in the top eight, so that was our objective, that was always going to be a bit difficult once Kim was not available through injury and the set back with Nick set us back a bit. But the younger ones showed promise. Quentin Rew while not a younger athlete is still new in his event, like he was 24th in Daegu, 30th in London and now seventeenth here so he’s on check to do something special in Rio a top eight or twelve in that event, maybe better the way Quentin goes about it. And the Robertson boys are exciting and they’re on track for top 10 or 12 results in Rio and Angie is coming through.
“That’s where we’ve put a lot of our resources and we have already made significant changes with carding and funding. High Performance Sport New Zealand will have a look at what they think as well. We’re pretty confident that our support behind the team stuff that we are working on, is going well,” said Goodman.