Photo: Getty Images
Under grey skies and with a wet track, seven Australians competed in the morning session on day three of Tampere 2018 in Finland.
Mucci in top form and Newton-Smith chasing better luck
Following the excitement of their multi-event teammates winning gold and silver in the decathlon, heptathletes Camryn Newton-Smith (QLD) and Celeste Mucci (VIC) got their busy day of four events underway with the 100m hurdles.
Newton-Smith in heat 3 was hurdling superbly and clearly in the lead before she crashed the final hurdle with her trail leg. She showed great strength to stay on her feet, but it cost her dearly finishing sixth with 14.21 seconds, for 949 points.
Mucci was a class above in the fourth and final heat to win in 13.29 and set the fastest time to lead the competition with 1081 points. Her time in the wet conditions was her second fastest ever and only 0.1 slower than her hurdles personal best, set at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games where she placed fourth overall.
Mucci’s coach Darren Clark was pleased with how the campaign began.
“It was a good start to the whole meet. The hurdles was her second best ever in not very good conditions, so I am happy with that,” Clark said.
“She has worked hard for a very long time without a break.”
Ralph Newton, remained positive despite the unfortunate hurdling mistake.
“The first event was going well. We got a really good start and she was leading most of the way. It was just that last hurdle. That’s hurdles. She managed to make it to the line and get a decent time.”
The women then went straight to the high jump competition where Mucci produced a personal best jump of 1.77m for 941 points. Her score of 2022 pts after two events, is the best of her career and she lies second behind Niamh Emerson (GBR). Emerson who came in under an injury cloud jumped an equal personal best of 1.89m to take the lead. Earlier this year Emerson pipped Mucci for bronze at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.
Newton-Smith jumped close to her best with a clearance of 1.65m. Her total of 1531 points after two events has her in 17th place and is looking for some better luck in the next five disciplines.
The heptathletes will round out the day with the shot put and 200m in the evening session.
Branco cruises into 200m semis
Zane Branco (QLD) bypassed the 100m and long jump to concentrate on the 200m at these championships, and he will still be feeling fresh after easily progressing from the heats.
The tall athlete ran and good bend from lane one and cruised down the home straight to place third in 21.04 seconds and automatically qualify for the semi-finals tomorrow evening (Friday, 13 July).
British sprinters Charles Dobson and Jona Efoloko both ran personal bests in the heats to set the standard of 20.65.The Queenslander. who has a personal best of 20.68 from the Trials in March, is ranked equal sixth fastest after the heat.
The Sunshine Coast resident will be a key member of the Australian 4x100m relay on day five (Saturday 14 July).
Murrant shows pace but fades in 400m hurdles heat
The pace was on in Harvey Murrant’s 400m hurdles heat with five of the athletes progressing to the semi-finals.
Unfortunately for the Victorian he was unable to maintain the pace in the final 100m and he faded to sixth in 53.02 seconds. He finished ranked 32nd of the 42 competitors.
Murrant did not have an ideal preparation but enjoyed the experience saying “It was unreal out there. I wanted to to soak it all up and enjoy the atmosphere”
“The last 4 months hasn’t been great. I was a little bit better today so I was happier with a quicker race.”
“You don’t have to be crazy but it helps.” joked the youngster about what it takes to be an international level 400m hurdler.
The championships are not over for the Exercise and Sports Science student at Deakin University. He is part of the 4x400m relay team which races in the heats on day five (Saturday, 14 July) and hopefully in the final on the last day of competition (Sunday, 15 July).
Hard going for Hester and Mendes in hammer qualifying
Caitlyn Hester (QLD) and Louise Mendes (VIC) had thrown personal bests in lead-up meets to these U20 Championships but they were unable to reproduce that 58 metre form in hammer throw qualification today.
Mendes, 19, was the best of the Australians throwing a solid 55.49 metres in group b. She finishes the event ranked 22nd.
Hester, 18, from Beaudesert in Queensland struggled in group a with a best of 52.67m for a 29th ranking.
“That was not what I was hoping to get,” Hester said. “If I threw a PB I probably would have made top 5 so I am kind of bummed with that.”
There’s no rest for the Beaudesert thrower as she looks ahead to what is hoped to be a long and successful international career “I have to go home and sit with the coach and do a four and ten-year plan.”
Brennan misses out on long jump final
ACT long jumper Grace Brennan had a difficult preparation for the World U20s, with two hamstring tears during the Australian summer, however she still performed well in the long jump qualifying
Her series of 5.62m, 5.93m and 5.84m was below her best and not enough for her to qualify for the final but the 18-year-old gave it everything in her first outing in the green and gold in challenging conditions. She finishes her campaign in 15th place
Only three of the athletes achieved the automatic qualifying standard of 6.20m.
Next Aussies in Action - Day 3 Evening Session - Fri 12:55am AEST to Fri 3:10am AEST
Gold Coast Commonwealth Games rep Celeste Mucci kicks off the proceedings in the evening session of day 3 as she heads into the final two events on the first day of the heptathlon. The multi-eventer has a new personal best in her sights after a great start to the competition.
There's a host of finals action too as Ella Connolly (400m), Callum Davies (1500m) and Carley Thomas (800m) have all progressed through to the decider. Queensland speedstar Riley Day runs in the semi-finals of the 100m.
You can watch all the action on the IAAF Livestream.
||Celeste Mucci, Camryn Newton-Smith
||Celeste Mucci, Camryn Newton-Smith
Andrew Reid for Athletics Australia
Superlatives and Statistics David Tarbotton
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