Athletics New Zealand - Weekly Roundup

Monday 5 September 2011, 1:18PM

By Athletics New Zealand



Day 3 29 August:


Valerie Adams retained her world shot put title with a come from behind win.

After leading from round three with 20.04m, extending it to 20.72m in the next attempt, Adams was emphatic in the final round with a mighty championship equalling distance of 21.24m. This also extended her own Oceania and New Zealand national records.

Immediately after the throw she picked up a picture of her coach Jean-Pierre Egger, pointing to it saying he did it for me.

The Olympic champion has now won the title for the third consecutive championship.

Her arch rival Nadzeya Ostapchuk of Belarus only started to apply some pressure in round five with 20.05m which held her in second place.


“I got off to a slow start, but the competition is not over until it’s over. After that 20.72m I knew I still had to stay focussed and stay on working on that back foot as my coach said to me in the last paragraph on this paper, he told me to open up and stay strong until you reach the stars as long as possible,” said Adams.

The 26 year old said that she knew that she had a big throw in her coming into the competition.

“To walk away with a championship equalling record, a third world gold, Oceania record and national record I can not be happier.”

Her main rival Belarusian Nadzeya Ostapchuk was not in the same league as Adams on this occasion, being beaten by 1.19m for the silver medal. Adams has also surpassed Ostapchuk as the year’s world leader.

“That’s competition for you,” said Adams.

“You’ve got to bring out your best on the competition day. I was just happy to get a world lead, 21 metres has been a massive bench mark this year. So I knew I had it in me, my coach had confidence in me, I love the man.”

Ostapchuk was full of praise for Adams.

“Valerie was very strong and she was a clear favourite. I am happy for her.”

The 30 year old believed in a medal but did not expect to win the silver.

“This year I had to fight many injuries. I have many problems with my left knee which hurts me a lot,” said Ostapchuk.

As well as improving on her Oceania and national record of 21.07m Adams’ performance was the widest winning margin in the history of the event, the longest outdoors for 11 years. Her hat-trick of world titles matches the achievements of the German shot putting legend Astrid Kumbernuss. She becomes the first woman to claim a medal in four successive world championships having won the bronze medal in Helsinki in 2005.


Day 4 30 August:

Nick Willis was safely through to the semi-finals of the 1500m.

The Olympic 1500m silver medallist ran in the fastest of the three heats and requiring a top six placing he finished second to Daniel Kipchirchir Komen of Kenya in 3m 39.24s.

Komen, who led throughout, recorded 3m 38.54s.

“It didn’t worry me that Komen went out fast, if anything it’s a relief because it makes tactics less of an issue,” said Willis.

He said going into the heat was a matter of getting the rust out of his system.

“As one of the favourites I have the luxury of using my rounds, especially the first round, as part of my taper in getting my muscles used to the mechanics and coordination.

Willis said that what he learnt from the first round is that his strength is still there.

“We went out at a reasonably fast pace and when I needed to call on that little extra gear in the last 20 metres it’s there as well, but I really didn’t want to use it much just to preserve my legs,” he said.



Day 6 1 September:

Jake Robertson got a second chance when he was later added to the final of the 5000m after running the heats.

He was required to finish in the first five to qualify for the final. The 21 year old finished 12th in 13m 53.57s, 15 seconds behind the winner of his heat Imane Merga of Ethiopia.

Coming off the track Robertson said that it was a pretty rough race.


“It was too slow from the start, everyone was pushing, I got clipped from the inside, there was no need for that I wasn’t cutting in,” said Robertson.

Then just before the 2000m mark he was pushed from behind and fell heavily on his knee and with 800m to run he almost tripped.

“That’s when I really dropped off, I clipped my knees and sort of had a dead leg. I was in a qualifying position until the last 800m,” he said.

New Zealand team manager Raylene Bates requested a review of the tape of the race and the track referee had no hesitation in adding Robertson to the final.

“Once the referee saw the tape and saw that Jake was pushed from behind at 2000m by the Japanese runner (Kazuya Watanabe) he put him straight into the final, we didn’t have to lodge a protest,” said Bates.

Robertson who lives and trains in Kenya said that background had helped him considerably.

“In fact my training partner in Kenya Eliud Kipchoge was in the race, I tried to follow him but I had to adjust to my race plan,” he said.

New Zealand’s other entrant in the 5000m Adrian Blincoe did not start in the heats after injuring a calf muscle in training at the athletes’ village track two days ago.


Meanwhile Nikki Hamblin narrowly missed qualifying for the semi-finals of the 800m.

Coming back from her disappointment of falling in the heats of the 1500m three days ago, Hamblin was within striking distance of finishing in the first four to qualify, but a couple of runners came fast on the outside and she finished fifth in a season's best of 2m 2.87s.


Hamblin said that she knew it was going to be hard.

“It’s really tough for me, I’m not a speed runner I’m a strength runner, my strength comes through in the further rounds or the further distance you go.

“I think I did the best I could, I was there and then in the last 10 metres I wasn’t there,” she said.

The 23 year old said that the last few days had been pretty terrible.


“My head was in the 1500m, my heart was in the 1500m, and I came back and tried to get my head together.

“I guess you always have to look at your glass is half full, after the 1500m I had another option and opportunity to do something but obviously it didn’t quite come out.”

At least said Hamblin she got the chance to compete at a world championships.


Nick Willis just qualified for the final of the 1500m.


The Olympic 1500m silver medallist came through a tough semi-final in seventh place in 3m 37.39s. 

He needed to finish in the first five for automatic advancement to the final. Willis was fortunate in running in the fastest of the semi-finals and just sneaked in as the second of the next two fastest runners.

The Beijing Olympic champion Asbel Kiprop won Willis’ semi in 3m 36.75s.

Coming from behind over the final 300m Willis positioned himself into the first five positions but in the home straight he lacked his usual sting and was unable to put in a sprint to hold a top placing.

The race took its toll on Willis and he received medical treatment after passing out and having to be stretchered to the medical tent.

“My body just shut down, I was asleep for 20 minutes and the clinic did not release me until they were satisfied that my blood sugar levels were right. I didn’t need an intravenous drip,” said Willis.

Willis said that the difficulty he experienced in the semi-finals was a result of the effort he had to put into the earlier 1500m heats.

“I felt distressed in that race with a high body temperature in the hot and humid conditions. I didn’t re-hydrate sufficiently but it was correctable and I did scrape through for the final,” he said.

The first semi-final was won by Matthew Centrowitz of USA in 3m 46.66s. 


Stuart Farquhar won a place in the final of the javelin throw after a mighty effort of 82.10m. He fouled his second attempt and realising he was in the final passed the opportunity for a third attempt. Farquhar was the best of the B preliminary group, the earlier A group was headed by Guillermo Martinez of Cuba with 83.77m.

“It’s a huge relief and I’m very stoked as I was really nervous going through warm up and the call room. But I did what I wanted to achieve to make the first round my big throw and it was big enough for the final,” said Farquhar.

The 29 year old is feeling confident.

“I came into this competition pretty confident with the season I’ve had, I’ve sort of peaked quite well.


Day 8 3 September:

Quentin Rew finished 24th in the 50km road walk. Rew was two minutes off his personal best in finishing 27 minutes behind the winner Sergey Bakulin of Russia, in 4h 8m 46s.

He started conservatively and progressively moved up the field from 43rd at 15km.

Rew said that he was off the back pretty early, which was part of the plan.

“I knew everyone was going to take off, I was more walking to a plan just aiming for times and trying to ignore what was going on around me and it worked alright.


“There were guys dropping off throughout the race, so just finishing something like this in conditions like this is something you’ve got to be proud of,” said Rew.


Stuart Farquhar failed to fire in the final of the javelin throw.

Farquhar was unable to produce the 80 metre plus throw that had him the third best qualifier for the final.


He opened with a throw of 78.99m and was unable to improve on that in his next two attempts and he did not make the cut off of the top eight for a further three attempts.

“It’s one of those things, I had a good comp two days ago and I came to these champs feeling really good, but my timing was out – that’s what happens in the javelin sometimes,” said Farquhar.

“I’m a little gutted because I know there are so many more metres there and it was tight around the 84 metre mark, it’s just a shame, but you learn from these things,” he added.

Defending champion and world leader Andreas Thorkildsen of Norway was beaten by Matthias De Zordo of Germany won the javelin gold medal with a throw of 86.27m.


Nick Willis lacked his usual sting over the final 300m and finished 12th and last in the final of the 1500m.


The 28 year old Olympic silver medallist went into the race ranked number three with high expectations of a medal.

Willis took the lead from the start taking the field at a slow pace through to the 800m in 2m 01.71s.

Coming into the final lap the Kenyan duo of Olympic champion Asbel Kiprop and the world leader this year Silas Kiplagat upped the tempo but Willis was unable to respond and drifted back through the field.

Kiprop won in 3m 35.69s, from Kiplagat 3m 35.92s and Matthew Centrowitz of USA third in 3m 36.08s.

“I have no idea what the problem was today, but my coach and I will have to evaluate that, and make sure we don’t have to go through a similar type of thing again.

Willis said that he went into the final a bit more aggressively than he did in the heats and semi-final.

“I wanted to be up with the leaders and suddenly found myself in the lead, it was one of the scenarios I was willing to deal with.

“I haven’t had the best of success in the past leading but I wouldn’t put it down to that today,” he said.


“It was a struggle to feel the natural flow of my muscles today, I’m extremely disappointed, I came in with the third fastest time, any thing less than a medal was not acceptable to me.

“The Kenyans executed their plan perfectly, so hats off to them. I’ve got a lot of work to do, I’ll have to take some down time and really figure out how to avoid this concern in the future,” he added.

Willis has an 800m race scheduled in Rieti Italy on Saturday and a 1500m in Zagreb the following Tuesday.


Day 9 4 September:

Jake Robertson suffering from an injured knee sustained in the heats when he was pushed and fell (the reason he was added to the final), put on a brave performance to complete the 5000m final finishing 16th in 14m 3.09s, 40 seconds slower than his best.


In a sprint finish Mohamed Farah of Great Britain narrowly won in 13m 23.36s from Bernard Lagat (USA) 13m 23.64s, with Imane Merga of Ethiopia third in 13m 23.78s. Farah won the silver medal in the 10,000m six days earlier.

Robertson said it was a difficult race with the pain he was carrying in his left knee.

“The pace was slow which was good, I was hoping, so I could keep up with my injury. There were a few surges just before 2000m and I just couldn’t even follow them, the pace was too high for the pain in my knee.

“I wasn’t even walking yesterday morning, so I’m happy to have completed the final,” said Robertson.


The 21 year old who is based in Kenya hopes to raise some money to travel to New Zealand for some races this summer.

“I’d like to come back and possibly race in the nationals in March – I want to attempt a fast 5000m on New Zealand soil, maybe a record attempt.

“London is another stepping stone, so I hope to improve next year and I’m thinking long term to Brazil,” said Robertson.



YMCA Camp Adair, Hunua


University of Canterbury made it five years in a row in the senior men and also captured the hat trick in the senior women at the New Zealand road relay championships held in Hunua on Saturday.

National cross country champion Matt Smith anchored the men’s team home in 3h 26m 1s, 1m 51s ahead of Wellington Scottish with Pakuranga third in the eight lap 64.3km event.

The women won by two minutes over Hamilton City Hawks with Pakuranga third.

Auckland City Athletic proved too strong for Wellington Harriers in winning the junior men’s relay while Auckland City junior women were beaten by Athletic Nelson. Wesley was third in the junior men and Pakuranga third in the women.

Auckland University made it two years in a row in the masters men over 50 relay and Pakuranga took yet another third in the master women.

Wellington Scottish with two wins, and a second was the top club on points.




Senior 64.3km: University of Canterbury (Brent Tingay, Luke Hurring, Andrew Davidson, Malcolm Hicks, Matt Harris, Hugo Beamish, Alex Fowler, Matt Smith) 3h 26m 1s 1, Wellington Scottish 3h 27m 52s 2, Pakuranga 3h 30m 0s 3.

Masters 64.3km: Wellington Scottish (Warren Muguren, Michael Wray, Todd Stevens, Peter Stevens, Joseph Bulbulia, Grant McLean, David Kettles, Greg Mitchell) 3h 50m 42s 1, Hamilton City Hawks 3h 51m 55s 2, Athletics Nelson 3h 53m 17s 3.

Masters over 50 64.3km: Auckland University (Paul Clark, Dave Young, Graham Macky, Rick Mann, Brett Katterns, Gavin Stevens, Phil Taylor, Tony King) 4h 11m 1s 1, Wellington harrier Athletic 4h 22m 53s 2, Hamilton City Hawks 4h 23m 24s 3.

Junior 41.7km: Auckland City Athletic (Mulu Yeshum, Tadele Tekle-Haimanot, Haile Tesfaye, Matt Morreau, Ben Moynihan) 2h 21m 48s 1, Wellington Harrier Athletic 2h 22m 43s 2, Wesley 2h 24m 8s 3.



Senior 64.3km: University of Canterbury (Kellie Palmer, Tracy Crossley, Nicki McFadzien, Rosa Scott, Hannah Newbould, Fiona Crombie, Anna Zakharova, Alexandra Williams) 4h 4m 59s 1, Hamilton City Hawks 4h 6m 56s 2, Pakuranga 4h 10m 4s 3.

Masters 64.3km: Wellington Scottish (Mandy Simpson, Michele Alison, Jackie Mexted, Anne Hare, Tricia Sloan, Sally Anderson, Melissa Moon, Stephanie Mackenzie) 4h 20m 39s 1, Hamilton City Hawks 4h 27m 2s 2, Pakuranga 4h 30m 30s 3.


Junior 41.7km: Athletics Nelson (Michelle Heslop, Jess Martin, Chelsea Beaton, Pip Dalley, Emma Dallison) 2h 52m 35s 1, Auckland City Athletic 2h 57m 58s 2, Pakuranga 2h 59m 11s 3.



Pre-Commonwealth Youth Games Competition, Sovereign Stadium – 2 September 2011



Shot Put: Damian Smuts 14.88m 1, Adam Miller 14.27m 2, Nicholas Gerrard 13.42m 3. M16: Alex Fafeita 16.24m 1, Kyle Van der Merwe 15.44m 2, Matthew Bloxham 14.10m 3.


Discus: Smuts 44.14m 1, Scott McLaren 41.46m 2, Gerrard 37.10m 3. M19: Miller 47.39m 1, Alexander Parkinson 38.75m 2. M16: Richard Callister 47.65m 1, Van der Merwe 47.56m 2, Bloxham 41.51m 3.


Hammer: Smuts 53.78m 1. M19: Miller 49.36m 1. M16: Fafeita 63.16m 1, Callister 52.84m 2, Bloxham 46.42m 3.


Javelin: M19; Kiamo Ah Kuoi 50.07m 1, Gerrard 48.91m 2.


Hammer: Nicole Bradley 48.82m 1, Sarah Button 44.08m 2, Ella Pilkington 42.46m 3.


O’Hagan’s Viaduct 5km Auckland 30 August: Alex Parlane won in 15m 6s, three seconds ahead of Jonny McKee. Rachel Bowie 18m 24s.