This article originally appeared on athletics.org.au – home of Athletics Australia: http://www.athletics.com.au/News/fearnley-set-for-fitting-finale-session-wrap-day-2-cg2018
Australian Team Co-captain Kurt Fearnley (NSW) received a rockstar’s reception as he was welcomed onto the track for the heats of the men’s T54 1500m at Carrara Stadium to begin his farewell to international track competition.
The bemedaled Paralympian looked superb as he placed second in heat two with 3:06.72, faster than the Games record he set in the heats in Glasgow 2014. Up front, England’s Chris Chiassaro (ENG) (3:05.76) was all smiles as he set the new mark and confirm that he will be the main international danger to what is hoped to be a fairytale finish to a stellar international track career.
Fearnley was stunned by the reception from the morning session crowd, “I just kept telling myself, calm down, get the job done and move on, and I did that”, when asked how he rated his chances for the 1500m final, Fearnley was humorous as ever, “Oh yeah I’ll go alright!”.
Earlier, rising star Jake Lappin (NSW) reminded everyone not to forget that he too will be a factor in the final as he was the first of the day to eclipse the Glasgow standard. He was a dominant winner of heat one, clinically claiming first place with a classy move on the home straight (3:11.72).
Fearnley was asked about Lappin being portrayed by local media as a potential ‘villain’ at his farewell, Fearnley was quick to politely cut the interviewer off, responding “he ain’t no villain!
“Mate there would be no sadness, and no animosity if Jake Lappin beats me tomorrow night, I’m finishing my journey, and if I can get to see a young Aussie start his (journey) or progress his then there’s no sadness in that, and I’ll hammer that note tomorrow, there’s no potential for me to be anything (other than supportive) in a success for Jake Lappin” said Fearnley.
Commonwealth Games debutant 17-year old Samuel Rizzo (VIC) placed fourth in heat one (3:12.91), and progressed to the final as one of the fastest non-automatic qualifiers.
Decathlete’s Cedric Dubler (QLD) and Kyle Cranston (NSW) begun their gladiatorial 10-event schedule.
Dubler made a positive start to the day, just shy of his 100m personal best, racing to 10.69 (+0.0), good for third in heat two and 931 points. Cranston placed second in heat one, as 11.16 (-0.1) provided 825 points.
Moving to the long jump runway, Dubler recovered from two earlier jumps that were well below expectations. Digging deep, the Queenslander lept out to 7.59m (+0.5) on his third attempt, delivering 957 points, a seasons best and the longest jump in the competition. Cranston recorded the eighth longest jump, need to focus after a second-round foul to produce a third attempt of 7.18m (+0.0), adding 857 points to his total.
In the final event for the morning session, Dubler placed 11th in Shot Put, a throw of 12.34m worth 627 points. Cranston recorded another top-eight performance, as a 13.59m throw found the 25-year old a further 703 points as the seventh longest throw of the day.
Defending Commonwealth champion, Damian Warner (CAN) leads the competition at the conclusion of the morning session, amassing 2766 points (10.29sec/7.54m/15.11m), whilst Dubler sits fourth with 2515 points, and Cranston ninth on 2385 points.
National champion Brandon Starc (NSW) qualified in equal fourth place in the men’s High Jump, clearing 2.21m in finishing equal second in qualification pool A.
The 24-year old made his intentions for the final clear in the media zone, “I’m past the “come here and enjoy it” sort of thing, I’m here to make a dent in the world of high jump, I want to push for medals and a personal best, I know I’m in the shape to do it, with the crowd behind me I just can’t wait for the final”.
Victorian Joel Baden did not progress through qualification, placing eighth in Pool B, 17th overall with a height of 2.15m.
Nick Hough paid no attention to pre-Games seeding, emphatically progressing through to the final of the men’s 110 metre hurdles. He qualified automatically in heat one in third position with a superb performance of 13.46 seconds just four hundredths outside his personal best.
Ranked outside the top-eight heading into the heats, Hough remarked on the wisdom gained through racing at an international level “that’s the thing with hurdles, anything can happen, you’ve just got to get into that final and once you’re in there you never know! I’ll give it a good shot and see if I can get a season’s best”.
Anneliese Rubie (NSW) ran a controlled heat, winning her heat following the disqualification of Nigerian athlete Patience George, Rubie’s 52.32 proved the 10th fastest time of the morning.
Victorian Morgan Mitchell progressed through heat five, finishing fifth in her heat, a time of 52.81 was fast enough for non-automatic time-qualification to the semi-finals.
Youngster Bendere Oboya (NSW) placed sixth in heat three with a 55.62 performance and did not progress to the semi-finals.