Mitchell Watt (Qld) is looking for a familiar finish to the one he experienced in London, last weekend, amongst a familiar field of faces at the Samsung Diamond League in Monaco on Friday.
Watt held off challenges from Chris Tomlinson (GBR) and Godfrey Mokoena (RSA) to win the London Diamond League with 8.28m (+1.0) last Friday. Both opponents will again line-up alongside the world championship silver medalist as does reigning Olympic champion Irving Saladino (PAN) whose season best of 7.87m (+0.6) placed him sixth at Crystal Palace.
Joining the field is also European champion Sebastian Bayer (GER) and USA champion Marquise Goodwin, who beat Will Claye at the US Trials last month with a personal best of 8.33 (+1.4).
For 24-year-old Watt, Monaco will be his final competition before the Olympic Games and he insists everything is going to plan.
He said: “I’m just looking to sharpen up before the Olympics. I’ve had a really good lead-in so far and have gotten used to competing. I’ll be looking to get a good jump out early again and pretty much be looking to do the same thing as before.
“It’s a good field in Monaco, so it’s good to get as much quality competition as possible.
“I’m looking to go into the Olympic Village in good shape, with some strong competition and keeping healthy.
“Everything has been going really well in training in Tonbridge after Crystal Palace, the weather has even been okay. I’m starting to feel really good.”
Jarrod Bannister (Qld) returns to the javelin following an impressive outing in the previous Diamond League meet in Paris. Bannister led for much of the competition with a season’s best of 83.70m, before finishing third overall, ahead of Vadims Vasilevskis (LAT) and Roman Avramenko (UKR) who also line up in Monaco.
This will be Bannister’s third competition of the year and the Olympic finalist will also have fellow Oceania athlete Stuart Farquhar (NZL) to contend with, the Kiwi has a season’s best of 86.31m.
Paul Koech (KEN) and Richard Mateelong (KEN), the two fastest men in the 3000mSC in the world this year, will take to the track in Monaco along with Beijing finalist Youcef Abdi (NSW). Both Kenyans are the only two men in the field to have run sub-eight minutes this season.
Samsung Diamond League
Friday, July 20
20:30 (04:30 AEST)
Javelin: Jarrod Bannister (Qld)
20:40 (04:40 AEST)
Long Jump: Mitchell Watt (Qld)
21:45 (05:45 AEST)
3000mSC: Youcef Abdi (NSW)
Eurosport will televise Monaco Diamond League LIVE and EXCLUSIVE at 4am AEST on Saturday 21 July.
In Cardiff on Wednesday Joshua Ross (Vic) was the fastest of the 4x100m relay members in the 100m individual at the Cardiff International (GBR). Ross was second final one in 10.51 (-2.7) while Tim Leathart (NSW) and Isaac Ntiamoah (NSW) were third and sixth in 10.90 and 10.96 (-1.5) respectively.
Andrew McCabe (Qld) was seventh in the 200m in 21.66 (-1.1). Collectively though the 4x100m relay team beat St Kitts and Nevis to win in 39.79.
Meanwhile at the Lappeenranta Games in Finland Ben St Lawrence (NSW) ran a season's best in the 3000m of 8:04.62 to finish second. Zoe Buckman (ACT) also finish second, albeit in the 1500m, in a time of 4:10.57.
On Tuesday night in Ireland Ryan Gregson (NSW) won the men's mile in 3:57.98 while Collis Birmingham (Vic) continued his good run of form to win the 3000m in a season's best of 7:55.31.
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