On day five of the Australian Track and Field Championships in Sydney, Australia’s form race walker Katie Hayward destroyed another record, while in the preliminary rounds of the open events, all the form athletes proceeded comfortably to the next round.
Over the last three months, Brisbane’s Katie Hayward has compiled a series of outstanding race times and broken records galore. At the Australian Championships tonight, she smashed her 10,000m track walk national under-20 record by a staggering 69 seconds, clocking 43:20.65 to win the national open title. It erased her 44:29.27 record from January in Canberra which was followed by two sub-1:30 20km walks.
“It’s been a big year so far,” said Hayward.
“The goal here was to beat my own record as there is no better feeling than being better than yourself.”
Familiar with her splits she knew was walking fast and kept pushing hard.
“I knew I was on pace for the record, and why not make it harder for the next generation.”
In the men’s walk, Dane Bird-Smith’s (QLD) return to form continued setting a personal best time of 38:30.61 and strengthening his position as the second fastest in Australian history. However, he also remains the second fastest in his family as his dad, Dave, holds the Australian record at 38:20.9.
“Tonight I was stocked just to be out there,” Bird-Smith said. “The last two days I have been having some dramas with my shins, so to get out and walk that well and only have a blowups in the last couple of ks was awesome.”
In the much-anticipated men’s 100m, all the favourites proceeded comfortably to the semi-finals to present us with the best ever lineup of Australian sprinters at a national championships. In the field we have number three all-time, Rohan Browning, number five (Trae Williams), number seven (Jake Doran), number 13 (Jack Hale) and number 25 (Alex Hartmann). Also in line-up is the fastest New Zealand junior ever, Eddie Nketia, who clocked the fastest heat time of 10.39. But favourite for the race, Rohan Browning.
“It was very cruisy today, hopefully I can push this on tomorrow. I’m feeling good… I feel really refreshed. I had a three-hour uni exam today, so it helped me kill the day and I wasn’t dwelling on the race which was nice. I’ll make sure I go home and get some good sleep, get some good food.”
The record-breaking form of Sasha Zhoya (WA) continued in the under-18 110m hurdles, when he broke his own national record with a time of 13.05, lowering his own mark of 13.24 set 15 months ago. He also lowered the 16-years world age best of 13.13 held by Jamaica’s Jaheel Hyde.
Zhoya reflected on his performance.
“I came out well. The only issue was in the race was I clipped the last hurdle. But that is hurdles and you just have to get through it.”
In the equivalent for the girls, Sophie White (WA) won the under-18 100m hurdles in 13.39. The joint national record holder with Sally Pearson, had her own record of 13.14 insight.
“I’m happy with that. I was chasing the record and that is my goal, but still happy with the run.”
She has until the end of the year to lower the record. However, she will also look to the future and soon start training over the senior higher hurdles next winter.
Celeste Mucci (VIC) has won a gruelling two-day heptathlon with a strong score of 5844 points, from her Commonwealth Games team mate Alysha Burnett (NSW) who scored 5716 points. There was an amazing battle for the bronze with Tori West (QLD) edging Andrea Thompson (ACT) by just four points 5466 to 5462 points.
- In the women’s 100m heats a new name in the sprints is long jumper Naa Anang who has run the fastest time this summer. In the heats she qualified comfortably for the next round and along with Commonwealth Games team mates Riley Day and Maddie Coates.
- The men’s decathlon came down to the last event with just 150 points separating the top-4 with the surprise leader Kyle Cranston, who was suffering from plantar fasciitis, managing to cross the line in first place amongst the medal contenders, to clinch the title with a score of 7594.
- In the first men’s open final of the championships, Costa Kousparis (NSW), just missed his PB with a throw of 65.11m to take the hammer throw.
- Late in the day Sasha Zhoya (WA), proceeded into the open men’s 100m semi-finals, running 10.66 to place third in his heat. Thirty minutes later he unfortunately missing three attempts at 4.90m his opening height in the open men’s pole vault.
David Tarbotton for Athletics Australia