Ella Nelson and Mathew Turk have set the straight ablaze at the Australian Junior Athletics Championships today, taking victory in the girls’ and boys’ under 20 200m finals and booking their tickets to the July world junior championships in the process.
As the final day of competition wrapped up at
Sydney Olympic Park Athletic Centre, Turk took the boys' title
just in front of Queensland’s Tom Gamble (second –
21.44) and fellow world junior championships contender, the local
runner in the field, Jake Hammond (third –
“I’m very happy with the run, it’s always great to get a win, not to mention a qualifier too,” Turk said.
“I’m looking forward to a couple of weeks off before its back into some serious winter training for the 200m, that’s my preferred race and that’s the one I want to run in Canada.”
In a tight race that featured three athletes who had notched up world junior qualifiers throughout the season, it was Nelson of New South Wales who claimed the girls’ under 20 200m title, nudging out her rivals Karlie Morton (second – 23.93) and Caitlin Sargent (24.16) in a personal best time of 23.70.
“That race was everything; it was so amazing, I’m so happy,” Nelson said.
“I’ve been working hard but still feel so lucky to run the way I did, Canada becoming a reality is just out of this world, it was always the plan but now it’s a reality.”
Jenny Blundell (NSW) outshone the field in the girls’ under 20 800m final, crossing the line in a personal best and world junior qualifying time of 2:06.57 ahead of Victorians Bronte Gange (second – 2:08.72) and Eliza Curnow (third – 2:12.29)
“I’m stoked with the run, I just felt comfortable and the time is what I was chasing,” Blundell said.
“My dad and I decided that I just needed to run against the clock and that seemed to work for me, it’s opened up the door for Canada and that’s great but the Youth Olympics are also a great opportunity.”
Victorian Alex Rowe claimed the national crown in the boys’ event, crossing the line with yet another world junior qualifying time of 1.49.33 after kicking ahead on the home straight to overcome Kuey Diew (second – 1:50.68) and Adrian Plummer (third – 1:51.51)
World youth silver medallist Amy Pejkovic provided the day’s field highlight clearing 1.83m to win the girls’ under 20 high jump and confirming her automatic selection to the world junior championships. Pejkovic was joined on the dais by New Zealander Elizabeth Lamb (second – 1.78m) and Gabrielle Howard (third – 1.68m) of Victoria.
In other highlights:
- Chamath Herath of New South Wales took gold in the boys’ under 16 100m hurdles in a time of 12.99, with his nearest rival crossing the line a full half a second later.
- With a heave of 49.69m, Tasmanian Danni McConnell became the national champion in the girls’ under 18 hammer throw adding a gold medal to her silver in the girls’ under 20 event.
- Victorian Luke Cann threw 65.02m to become national boys’ under 20 javelin champion ahead of 2009 world youth championships finalist Luanga Andria (second – 64.98m) and Dylan Risk (third – 61.02m) in the only medal winning-performance for the Northern Territory.
- Demii Maher-Smith of Queensland took victory in the girls’ under 18 triple jump with a leap of 12.61m, just one centimetre further than yesterday’s long jump champion Brooke Stratton (second – 12.60m) and high jump champion Kaitlin Morgan (third – 12.23m).
Attracting more than 1600 athletes competing in over 300 events across four days, the Australian Junior Athletics Championships have showcased the many outstanding junior athletes from across the country while providing a vital link between school and junior athletes and local clubs.
Acting as the trials for the world junior
championships and the Youth Olympic Games, performances over the
four days of the Australian Junior Athletics Championships added
six new athletes to an already impressive list eligible for
selection to the Australian world juniors team later this week and
has automatically confirmed the first 20 members of the team. A
team of 10 athletes, five girls and five boys, will be selected for
the Youth Olympic Games from the best-performed under 18 athletes
at these championships.
For all results please click here.
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