Two-time Olympian Henry Frayne (Qld), Rio Olympian Peter Bol (Vic) and Olympic finalist Steve Solomon (NSW) have each recorded London IAAF World Championships qualifying standards in a big weekend for Australian athletics abroad, while young Queensland long jumper Naa Anang (Qld) continues to improve as she edges closer to her maiden qualifier.
Long jumper Henry Frayne has overcome a bout of injuries to put together a big jump of 8.21m (w: +1.8) to take the win and secure his first London 2017 qualifier at the Resisprint International meet in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland.
Forced to watch on from the sidelines due to back, calf and especially hamstring troubles over the past months, Frayne’s return to competition has been emphatic recording his second biggest jump ever after his PB of 8.27m.
Finding the board only twice in his set of six jumps, Frayne also recorded a jump of 8.04m in what was just his second competition this year after having to miss the Australian domestic season and Australian Championships due to injury.
The Gary Bourne coached athlete, who reached the final of the Rio Olympics last year and finished seventh, is now likely to compete at his third world championships.
If selected, Frayne will join 2016 Diamond League champion Fabrice Lapierre (NSW) as the two Australian long jumpers at the world championships.
Elsewhere in Europe, an impressive front-running display from Rio Olympian Peter Bol (Vic) has resulted in a personal best and a world championships qualifier in the 800m, running 1:45.21 for the win in Mannheim, Germany.
Despite the wet conditions, Bol produced his best to take the win and put himself in contention for a world championships debut.
The 23-year-old, who is coached by Justin Rinaldi in Melbourne has now moved up to equal seventh on the all-time Australian list for the 800m. Training partner Alex Rowe (Vic) finished 4th in 1:47.78.
Last Friday in the US, Steve Solomon’s (NSW) fond memories of Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park could well be reignited later this year, as the 24-year-old clocked an impressive 45.19 seconds over 400m to put himself in contention to be selected for Team Australia in London.
Out of lane 9 at the TrackTown Summer Series meet in Palo Alto, Solomon’s time is the fastest he has run since his 45.14 in the 400m final at the 2012 London Olympics.
Read more about Steve Solomon's qualifying run here
In Switzerland, Frayne’s training partner and fellow Queenslander Naa Anang (Qld) jumped a meet record and personal best of 6.68m (w: +1.9) to take the win in the women’s event.
The 2015 World University Games bronze medallist was just 7cm shy of the standard required for world championships selection.
In 2017, Anang won her maiden Australian title in the long jump and has brought her PB up from 6.55m to cement her place at number eight on the Australian all-time rankings.
Patrick Tiernan (Qld) has gone from strength to strength this season as he produced yet another personal best in the 3000m over the weekend to place seventh at the Diamond League meeting in Paris.
Stopping the clock in 7:39.28, Tiernan becomes just the third Aussie to go under the 7:40 barrier for 3000m, alongside Craig Mottram and Collis Birmingham.
In 2017, the 22-year-old has set personal bests over 3000m, 5000m and 10,000m and has rocketed up the Australian all-time rankings in the process, but recently fast times have not been a major concern.
“My race in Rio was a huge turning point for me as an athlete,” Tiernan said before his race in Paris.
“I was pretty disappointed with my result there, and I think since then I've just been in a much more competitive frame of mind when it comes to international racing.
“Rather than having a certain time or place in mind going into a race, I now just approach every race knowing I've got a chance to win it, and that becomes my goal every time I toe the line.”
Read more about Patrick Tiernan’s remarkable 2017 season here
Elsewhere in Paris, Tasmanian javelin thrower Hamish Peacock placed seventh at his fourth Diamond League meeting this year, recording his second biggest throw ever of 83.87m.
Following his Olympic debut in Rio, Peacock has already secured his place in the world championships team with a win at the Australian Athletics Championships in April this year.
Read more about Hamish Peacock and his ambitions for his third world championships team here
In other athletics results over the weekend:
- In the women’s Gold Coast Airport Marathon, Virginia Moloney (Vic) was the first Australian to cross the line after running a personal best of 2:29:14 to place fifth on Sunday. With more than a five minute PB, Moloney now moves up to ninth on the all-time Australian list for the 42.195km event.
- NSW distance running star Eloise Wellings took out the women’s 10km road race on the Gold Coast, crossing the line in 32:55. Welling’s next stop will be the London world championships, in which she’ll compete in the 10,000m on the track.
- London-bound marathoner Milly Clark (Qld) was the best performing Australian in the half marathon, finishing second to American Sara Hall in 1:11:15, while Jessica Trengove (SA) finished in third with 1:11:36.
- Rio Olympian Liam Adams (Vic) finished behind Hiroki Yamagishi (1:03:14) with a time of 1:03.49.
- At the Paris Diamond League, Linden Hall (Vic) finished the 1500m in 13th place with a time of 4:08.55. Hall will now look towards the next Diamond League meeting this Thursday in Lausanne.
- Sprinter Tom Gamble (Qld) raced in La Chaux-de-Fonds, stopping the clock in 20.99 for the 200m.
Hurdling champion Sally Pearson (Qld) will return to international competition on Tuesday to race at the Gyulai István Memorial in Hungary. Australian long jump record holder Brooke Stratton (Vic) and 400m national champion Morgan Mitchell (Vic) are also expected to compete.
Four Australians are set to compete in the Lausanne Diamond League in Switzerland on Thursday including Kathyn Mitchell (javelin), Kurtis Marschall (pole vault), Jenny Blundell and Linden Hall (mile).