Above: Zoe Hobbs (6) in action World U20 Championships 100m semifinal. Photo by Getty Images.
Zoe Hobbs set a high standard for the Kiwi team to follow on the morning of Day 2 at the IAAF World U20 Championships in Bydgoszcz, Poland.
Hobbs flew out of the blocks in her 100m heat, and stormed down the track to finish third in 11.53 securing an automatic qualifying position and setting New Zealand under 20 and under 19 records in the process.
The 18 year old from New Plymouth, now living in Auckland and training under James Mortimer, the recently retired 2015 national 200m champion, was thrilled with her run to make Friday’s semi-finals.
“I’m just stoked. I saw the results board and I couldn’t believe it, said an ecstatic Hobbs.
“I was thrilled to get through to the semi and then saw my time and I couldn’t believe it. I’m just amazed that I’ve broken the national record," said Hobbs, also a New Zealand surf-lifesaving beach-sprinting representative.
“I got a good start and I knew I had to stay with them. I fought really hard to the end and realised I was very close to the second girl. The semi-finals are tomorrow and now I hope I can make it through to the final,“ she added.
Hobbs’ time slices 0.11s from her personal best set just five days earlier at a warm-up meeting for the New Zealand team and she jumps from tenth to fourth on the NZ women’s all-time list for 100m.
The record she surpassed was set by Hawkes Bay teenager Briar Toop in 1990 at the Auckland Commonwealth Games.
Lucy Sheat finished fourth in her 100m heat, recording 11.85, just one place outside the automatic qualifiers and 0.07 outside the next fastest athletes to make the second round.
The Blenheim sprinter, who turned 17 several weeks ago, is still eligible for the next World Junior Championships in 2018 and will be part of the New Zealand 4x100m relay team alongside Hobbs later in the championships.
Alison Andrews-Paul ran a valiant race in her 800m semi-final getting a personal best 2:06.32 and finishing fifth in her heat. With three semi-final races, a top two placing or the next 2 fastest times were required to make the final.
The Masterton 19 year old was less than one second from securing a finals berth, finishing 12th overall. With a ranking of 24th going into the championships Alison can be very pleased with her performances at her first international championship.
"I gave it everything I had," said Andrews-Paul. " I felt really good the whole way until the last 30 metres and then it hit me like a ton of bricks. On the start line I was thinking how lucky I am to be here."
Shot Putter Maddison-Lee Wesche had the shot put out to 13.79m in her only successful attempt in the qualification round and over a metre short of her personal best.
The Waitakere 17 year old finished with an overall placing of 20th, the same as her ranking going into the championships. Maddison-Lee will be eligible for the next World U20 championships in two years.
In action on day three of the championships will be hammer thrower Lauren Bruce in her qualifying round, Hamish Gill in the 200m heats and semi-final if he progresses from the first round and Hobbs in the 100m semi-finals and maybe final.
Check out all the information about the New Zealand athletes at the World U20 Championships