29 May 2015

Robertson and Walsh in Diamond League action

Robertson and Walsh in Diamond League action

Author: Comms Admin  /  Categories: News  / 

Above: Zane Robertson leading the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games 5000m final. Photo by Alan McDonald Macspeedfoto.

Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Zane Robertson makes his debut over 10,000m at the Prefontaine Classic Diamond League meeting in Eugene, Oregon, on Saturday.

Robertson's aim is to reach the 27min 45sec IAAF and Athletics New Zealand qualifying standard for the Beijing world championships in August. Also within his grasp will be Dick Quax's long-standing New Zealand 10,000m record of 27:41.95, set in 1977.

The Ethiopian based Kiwi is part of an intimidatingly strong field at the Pre Classic, headed by double Olympic gold medallist Mo Farah, unbeaten over 10,000m for almost four years.

Farah, 32, is the fastest British runner in history at every championship distance from 1500m (3:28.81) to the half marathon (59:32).

Seven runners in the field have best times faster than 27 minutes.

Robertson, 25, won bronze in the 5000m at the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games, but hasn't yet raced over 10,000m on the track, showed his strength over longer distances in setting a sensational new national half-marathon record of 59min 47sec earlier this year, bettering Rod Dixon's 1981 mark by over two minutes.

He'll be joined in Eugene by fellow Kiwi Tom Walsh, in his first Diamond League competition of the northern season.

Walsh, 23, who has a best of 21.37m set earlier this year in Melbourne, goes into the competition ranked fourth behind two-times world champion and early Diamond League leader David Storl from Germany (21.72) and Americans Joe Kovacs (22.35) and Christian Cantwell (21.50).

Also in the very strong field is Ryan Whiting who beat Walsh twice in New Zealand in February and Olympic champion Tomasz Majewski from Poland.

Julian Matthews, Glasgow Commonwealth Games 1500m finalist from Nelson will also be in action in the B race of the Mile. 

The Pre Classic is the third Diamond League meeting of the year and the three athletes are the first New Zealanders in action in the 2015 Diamond League season.

Walsh and Robertson will be in action at 3.30pm and 4.20pm respectively on Saturday (NZ time), while Matthews races on Sunday at 7.30am.

Tom Walsh profile

Zane Robertson profile

Julian Matthews profile

Live action from the final two hours of Pre Classic Diamond League meeting will screen on Sky Sport 1 8.00 - 10.00am Sunday.


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