Weekend Wrap | Davies delivers Australian record, McSweyn and ...

Australia’s Olympic hopefuls added to the athletics action in Kobe, with a weekend that saw Stewart McSweyn and Morgan McDonald notching Paris qualifiers in the USA, and no less than four wins in Japan, headlined by Rose Davies’ national 5000m record.

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Saving the best performance until last at the Seiko Golden Grand Prix in Japan, Rose Davies (Scott Westcott) raced to victory in the Women’s 5000m, clocking 14:41.65 to crush Jessica Hull’s record from 2020.

Having qualified for the Paris Olympics with a best of 14:47.86 at the Suzhou Diamond League last month, Davies ran with ease but doubled down to demonstrate her fitness over 12 and a half laps, crossing the finish line more than three seconds ahead of Margaret Akidor (KEN). Isobel Batt-Doyle (Nic Bideau) stormed home in 15:08.67 to finish third, while national champion Matthew Ramsden (Nic Bideau) rounded out the 5000m action placing 13th in the men’s event in 13:38.10.

Continuing the middle distance frenzy in Japan, training partners Sarah Billings (Nic Bideau) and Georgia Griffith (Nic Bideau) made it an Australian quinella in the Women’s 1500m. Billings took the win in 4:04.66 while Griffith solidified Australia’s position as a middle distance nation in 4:05.35, falling behind Billings for second place in the final 20-metres.

Yual Reath (Paul Cleary) cemented his status as the nation’s premier high jumper, with a second attempt clearance at 2.30m to continue his six-competition winning streak. A clean sheet until 2.30m, Reath was the sole competitor of ten to clear the height, with South Korea’s Sanghyeok Woo placing second with a third-attempt clearance of 2.27m. Two-time Olympian Brandon Starc (Alex Stewart) placed 10th at 2.20m.

Continuing the golden streak for Australia in Japan, Cameron McEntyre (Angus McEntyre) impressed in the Men’s javelin, sailing the spear to a personal best of 82.01 ahead of Genki Dean’s (Japan) 81.38m throw. Though a podium regular, training partner Mackenzie Little was able to muster up a best of 59.12 to place sixth overall.

A battle of Oceania’s best ensued in the Women’s 100m in Japan and while Kiwi Zoe Hobbs took command with 11.17 (-0.3), it was Bree Masters (Ryan Hoffman) who dipped over the line second in 11.31, stealing the Aussie spotlight from national record holder Torrie Lewis (Andrew Iselin) who finished in fourth in 11.54 (-0.3).

Though displaying form with another world-class jump of 7.94m, Chris Mitrevski (Alex Stewart) was unlucky to be defeated for the first time in 2024, placing fifth. Leading with his first and best attempt early until the fourth round, the Paris-bound long jumper was overtaken in the final rounds, with three athletes including China’s Mingkin Zhang landing jumps over the eight-metre mark.

Rising triple jumper Desleigh Owusu (Andrew Murphy) left her best jump until last to place fourth, launching to 13.37m (1.0) in a consistent set which saw her land four jumps over the 13.30m mark.

Teammates at the World Athletics Relay Championships a fortnight ago, Alex Beck (Mark Ladbrook) and Cooper Sherman (Neville Down) turned rivals once more, with national champion Sherman placing fourth in 46.05 to Beck’s 46.16 for sixth place. The race was won by hometown favourite Kentaro Sato in 45.21.

The USATF LA Grand Prix promised strong results as Stewart McSweyn (Nic Bideau) and Morgan McDonald (Dathan Ritzenhein) shattered the Olympic 5000m qualifying standard with two of the fastest times by Australian men in history.

Rewriting his personal best, McSweyn clocked 12:56.07 to miss Craig Mottram’s 20-year Australian record of 12:55.76 by just 0.31-seconds with the second run of his career under the elusive 13-minute barrier. McDonald carved his personal best down to 13:00.48 as the pair finished in 10th and 12th placings respectively. The race was won by Olympic 10,000m champion Selemon Barega (ETH) in 12:51.60.

With McSweyn consolidating his position as Australia’s second fastest man over the distance in history and McDonald rising to third, the results allow the duo to dream big ahead of the Paris 2024 Games.

Continuing his comeback in 2024, Commonwealth champion Oliver Hoare (Dathan Ritzenhein) timed his run to perfection to claim victory over a star-studded Men’s 1500m field, stopping the clock in 3:34.73.

Leading the early stages of the race before patiently biding his time to deliver a decisive finishing kick, Hoare loomed large at the top of the straight to pass Reynold Kipkorir Cheruiyot (KEN) and 17-year-old Australian Cameron Myers (Dick Telford) who faded to eighth place in 3:35.59. Jesse Hunt (Craig Mottram) also impressed when finishing in fifth place with 3:35.38.

Commencing his international campaign after claiming silver at the Chemist Warehouse Australian Athletics Championships, Peter Bol (Justin Rinaldi) raced to seventh place over 800m in a time of 1:45.87, warming into his work overseas as the race was won by Bryce Hoppel (USA) in 1:43.68.

In the women’s event, Catriona Bisset (Ned Brophy-Williams) strengthened her campaign for Paris, with the national record holder placing fifth in 2:00.22 to as she opens up her international campaign.  

Australia’s steeplechasers set the tone earlier in the day in Los Angeles as Tokyo Olympians Amy Cashin (Sean Cleary) and Matthew Clarke (Adam Didyk) backed up their national titles. Cashin delivered a well-paced performance of 9:26.85 for ninth place and the third fastest time of her career, while Clarke also served up his third fastest time in 8:24.37 for eighth place, both bolstering their Olympic bids with strong ranking points.

Liam Cashin (Peter Burke) followed in his sister’s footsteps to carve seven seconds off his personal best in 8:30.19, while Ben Buckingham (Craig Mottram) rounded out the action over the barriers in 8:39.81.

Paris-bound Lauren Ryan (Lara Rogers) dropped down in distance to set a new personal best of 4:08.15 when winning the Women’s 1500m C race, while Natalie Rule continued her return to racing with a run of 15:17.38 over 5000m. Adding to the 5000m action, Jackson Sharp (Mick Byrne) clocked 13:17.08 to continue his climb up the Australian all-time list with an eight-second personal best.

Over in Spain, Australia’s premier race walkers in Jemima Montag (Brent Vallance) and Declan Tingay (Brent Vallance) made moves at the La Coruna World Athletics Race Walking Tour Gold meet, with Montag finishing in 16th place in a time of 1:30.19, while Tingay walked to equal fourth fastest time of his career with a 1:20.20 performance to finish in 28th.

Ash Moloney (Steve Rippon) and Tori West (Eric Brown) continue their command over in Gotzis, with West locking in three new personal best performances in the 200m (23.67), 100m hurdles (13.63) and Shot Put (13.72) to finish Day 1 on 3686 points – 108 points ahead of her Day 1 best.

Olympic bronze medallist Moloney equaled his personal best in the 100m with a 10.13 performance to finish the first day of action on 4477 points, highlighting his return to form after two years of injury.  Competition in Gotzis is set to finish overnight.

By Sascha Ryner and Lachlan Moorhouse, Athletics Australia Posted:  19/5/2024

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