Above: Te Rina Keenan competing in the discus qualifying rounds at the IAAF World Championships in Beijing (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)
Te Rina Keenan was pleased to throw her second best discus of her career of 59.20m to finish 18th after the qualifying rounds at the 2015 IAAF World Championships. Going into her first world senior championship after having competed at the world youth and world junior championships the 25 year old was ranked 29th.
Conditions weren’t the best for throwing with no wind at all in the stadium.
The qualifying standard had been set at 63.00m, but out of the two pools only four athletes bettered this distance. The 12th qualifier for the final threw 60.72m.
Overall Keenan was delighted with her performance.
“I had a few technical issues but I’m really happy how it went, ninth in my group and probably the second most consistent comp I’ve ever had. I’m stoked. I would have liked to make the final but 59 metres in my first major comp is awesome,” she said.
“I was so nervous with my first throw my hands were shaking and I think it was from the clicking of the camera and I tried to get a good one and I was quite happy like it was 58, it’s an awesome experience.
“I would have liked to have thrown over 60 again, training has been going real well and I kind of would have liked to see it in my throws. But I’m so happy with how it went.”
Siosintina Hakeai threw in the second qualifying pool and things didn’t go as well for her with a throw of 54.89m in the first round followed by two fouls.
Hakeai who has experienced top international competition with a fourth at the world junior championships and fourth at last year’s Commonwealth Games couldn’t put a finger on what went wrong.
“I don’t know what happened I think I pulled my head a lot and I couldn’t fix it, but it is what it is and it wasn’t the result I wanted I’ve just got to go back home, work harder train harder to be where I want to be.
“I’m used to the crowd now after Glasgow but just real disappointed in my throw, but that's sport,” she said.
Rosa Flanagan ran in the first of three heats in the 3000m steeplechase and needed to finish in the first three or be one of the next six fastest to advance to the final.
The diminutive 19 year old started well but mid-way through drifted back, she tried to pick it up over the last two laps and was gaining places. However her strength was fading over the final 200 metres and she finished 12th in 10:00.71.
Flanagan said that she felt the pace from the start.
“It was pretty amazing from the start the pace was pretty hot. It’s just good to learn to race with women alongside you it’s pretty amazing I tried to keep up with them but the pace was fast and I didn’t want to burn myself to far early in the race. It was an awesome experience out there though. One of the girls fell over in the water jump and I had to sort of bunny hop over her which is all part of the experience,” she said.
“My coach Maria (Hassan) and my goal was to go in there and relax and try increase the last 1k, so I tried it and kept up with those girls and the last 200m finish will come with age and strength, there’s still a lot more to come."
"It is really cool to be here for my first world championships and I’m definitely glad I came along and took it all in, I’ll be back next time,” she added.
Flanagan is planning a break in Noosa after the championships.
From Murray McKinnon in Beijing