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Five for five from the Aussies in Lausanne

Friday, 7 July 2017 | Athletics Australia

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Personal bests were produced by all of the five Australian athletes who competed at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland early on Friday morning.

The best placing went to javelin thrower Kathryn Mitchell who launched her fifth attempt 66.12 metres setting a personal best and capping off a quality series of throwing that put her just 71cm behind Kim Mickle's national record.

All six of Mitchell's efforts were beyond the 60-metre mark as she finished third in the competition less than two and a half metres behind Sara Kolak from Croatia who won with a world leading 68.43m.

Her previous best throw was from 2014 in Adelaide of 66.10m, making her result in Switzerland even more exciting as she prepares for the London world championships in August.

Fellow Australian Kelsey-Lee Roberts equalled her personal best of 64.06m with her final throw of the meet as she continues her good form that saw her win the national title earlier this season.

In the men’s pole vault, South Australian athlete Kurtis Marschall performed brilliantly in his Diamond League debut with a clearance of 5.73m to finish fourth amongst a slew of world-class vaulters.

The 20-year-old, who only just missed out on making the Olympic final last year, improved upon his best mark set last month in Cairns by a centimetre with his first attempt at that height.

Marschall's performance was the highest clearance by an Australian vaulter in seven years after Olympic champion Steve Hooker jumped 5.95m in 2010.

In Lausanne, the Australian Under 20 record holder claimed the impressive scalps of 2015 world champion Shawn Barber and teenage rising star Armand Duplantis.

American Sam Kendricks won the competition with a vault of 5.93m, on count back against Paweł Wojciechowski who also equalled the meet record with a clearance at that height.

Australian pair Linden Hall and Jenny Blundell also produced personal bests in the women’s mile finishing ninth and tenth respectively in a quick race won by Genzebe Dibaba from Ethiopia setting a meet record.

Hall led the chasing pack at one stage and crossed the line in 4:28.21 just ahead of Blundell in 4:28.82.

Hall and Blundell's performance means the rival pair are now ranked fifth and sixth on the all-time Australian list for women over the mile.

Dibaba ran a slick 4:16.05, which was one of a few meeting records set at the Stade Pierre de Coubertin in Switzerland, including Wayde van Niekerk’s victory over 400m to close out the Swiss meet.

The South African crushed the field to win in 43.28, which was also a world leading mark and Diamond League record.

Roberts and Mitchell will be in action again on the Diamond League circuit in London over the weekend, along with eight other Australians including Sally Pearson.

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