Scott Goodman, Athletics New Zealand High Performance Director said on reflection that there were mixed results from the 22 athletes who competed at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games but he was generally pleased with the performances.
There were five medals from Track and Field, a gold, two silvers and two bronze medals.
“Less than four I’d be disappointed, more than six I’d be fairly elated and we got five. We also got a few tight fourths. I’m not disappointed, but our funding programme is to get results in Rio, so if you throw in the pole vault Eliza (McCartney) went to the world juniors and got a bronze medal there, would have been very competitive in this tonight and she trains in Auckland, where as some of these girls are not used to the wet so she would have been in the top three or four here, we’ve got Rosa Flanagan the steeplechase will be in the mix for Rio, so I’m quite comfortable with where the programme is at,” he said.
“Five (medals) is sort of a pass mark. The pleasing athletes for me, Angie was like really good, she stuffed up her first round, a great semi-final and ran well in the final in a world class event and Nikki Hamblin’s back to being on track where she was prior to surgery a couple of years ago, we’ve got some good signs,” he added.
“Some of the younger athletes that we were hoping would compete well have and we have a few others that I wouldn’t say I was totally satisfied.
“Tom Walsh was very good again, 12 months ago we wouldn’t have seen him throwing over 21 metres consistently so he’s clearly someone for Rio that we have right on track. I was pretty pleased with Siositina Hakeai. She didn’t get a PB but she threw quite well and consistently and I think she’s shown enough to show she’ll be competitive in Rio. “
“Julia Ratcliffe was a bit of a standout as well and obviously Valerie Adams has been very good for a long time for us. The stand out result for me was Zane Robertson and even Jake and how they ran in that 5k, that event stood out for me on the first night it was very significant in that a lot of people are talking about how they can mix it up with the Kenyans. There’s some really exciting stuff and I suppose a few guys just didn’t quite get what they wanted.”
Goodman said that he will be working with Kirsten Hellier and Jacko Gill.
“Clearly Jacko is someone we want to be on track and we sat down with them after the event, they’ve gone back and we will meet with them over the next few weeks. Clearly Jacko can be very competitive and we want to do whatever we can to try and support him and there’s a few others we want to sit down and work through with them.”
“Jacko is not consistent with the change of weights and the heavier implement as he was with the 6kg, and he has a relatively small hand so getting the bigger shot put right out of his hand consistently is not nailing it all the time. He threw all right in qualifying so it’s just the next day competition that’s part of being here we want him to go through that sort of experience of qualifying one day and then you’ve got to back up and get through to the top eight to get your full six throws so it’s not all bad but the means of it will work.”
With regards to the decathletes Brent Newdick and Scott McLaren, Goodman said, “The NZOC philosophy for all events was capable of top six and in the nature of the Commonwealth Games some events that’s a little bit easier than others, like the middle distance running and the sprinting clearly what Jake and Zane are doing and Nick Willis and that against really the world class. Angie Smit and Nikki Hamblin were fantastic, but the decathletes 7700 was about the mark we thought would be about sixth and sixth was 7725."
"Those guys have done that fairly consistently over the last few years, Scott was under a bit of an injury cloud he had surgery in December and he had to do proof of fitness which he did relatively comfortably to be honest in June, and he has struggled since then and we thought with medical support here he would get through. Brent I’m sure would have been about 7700 but he got injured during the high jump and he got through another three events, Brent’s competed for a long time he’s done full decathlons in that period, he’s just building back up again to where he should be so I don’t have any problems with Brent.
Goodman said that Jake Robertson was disappointed because he thought the 5km was the chance for him to really show where he’s at.
“He believes he could have won and he’s not angry with Nick (Willis) so much personally for tripping him he knows that’s racing.”
“Those boys (Jake and Zane) are very special what they do is very unique and I’ll do whatever I can to help those boys and obviously keep helping Nick,” said Goodman.
“They reckon they can win, that’s why I say they’re special because when they come through the mixed zone and they are angry because they got beaten, I like that because they got a bit of tiger in them they want to be the best in the world and I give them a chance. That 5km was a pretty world class group of athletes and they were right in the mix."
"Talking to Jake it is his closing capacity is what we are going to work on a bit over the next 12 to 18 months, I think by Rio they’ll be really competitive but age wise Tokyo is when they’re going to be at their best, so we’ve got five or six years of watching them race and I love watching them race. I get excited knowing what’s going to happen on the day.”
Athletics New Zealand