This article originally appeared on athletics.org.au – home of Athletics Australia: http://www.athletics.com.au/News/record-leap-as-frayne-soars-into-games-final-morning-session-day-3-gc2018
Queenslander Henry Frayne smashed the Commonwealth Games long jump record in the qualifying round this morning treating the Carrara crowd to one of the best jumps in Australian history.
The 27-year-old launched out to 8.34m (1.1 m/s) to eclipse the former standard of teammate Fabrice Lapierre (NSW) who jumped 8.30m in New Delhi in 2010.
Frayne, the former world indoor silver medallist, had needed a mere 7.90m to automatically progress to the final but shocked everyone as he soared 7cm beyond his 2012 personal best to become the fourth best jumper in Australian history.
And he was happy to erase his former standard saying “It’s been frustrating to be defined on paper by my 8.27m.”
Frayne’s record-breaking effort launches his past two great names of Australian long jumping, Olympic silver medallist Gary Honey and 1998 Commonwealth winner Peter Burge, to become the fourth-best Australian ever.
It set the scene for a fascinating showdown with South Africa’s Luvo Manyonga who was an easy qualifier with his first attempt 7.91m. The London 2017 world champion has a personal best of 8.65m and will be Frayne’s main threat to capture the Commonwealth crown in Wednesday evening’s final.
“This is the first time in a long time that I’ve been in this situation, so hopefully it pays dividends tomorrow.” he said.
Frayne who is coached by Queensland jumps guru Gary Bourne, has battled groin and leg injuries throughout his career, and last competed for Australia at the Rio Olympics where he placed 7th.
“I’ve had a few issues with my groin and calf in the last few weeks. My hamstring, too, since the start of the year.
“If I can jump 8.34m, I’m fine. There are no excuses.”
The Australian crowd will be in for a triple-treat as Victorian Chris Mitrevski (7.82m) and 2010 champion Lapierre (7.76m) and qualified in 11th and 12th respectively.
Men’s 800m Semi-Finals
In scorching morning heat, Australia’s trio of two-lap speedsters took to the track, as a brutal set of three-semi finals required a top-two finish for automatic qualification, with only two time qualifying spots up for grabs.
Joseph Deng (VIC) set the tone in semi-final one with a thunderous reception from the home crowd bringing a broad grin to the 19-year old’s face. A blistering first lap opened proceedings, as Wyclef Kinyamal (KEN) hit 400 metres in 51.69 while Deng tucked in right behind, working to the Kenyan’s shoulder through 600 (1:18.08).
As the toll of an unrelenting pace began to seep in, Deng’s form showed the first sign of weakening, but hanging tough in third position and crossing for a time of 1:45.72 was good enough for a finals berth. The time was a mere 0.01sec outside his personal best, set when he caused a sensation to win the B Final at the Games trials, and was the fastest of all third-placed athletes in the round.
National Champion Luke Mathews (VIC), seeded alongside the equal third fastest two-lap man in history, Nijel Amos (BOT)., admitted post-race that he had studied extensively for the meet,
“I’d watched every race he’s run since 2012 over the last couple of days, I knew it was going to be pretty quick, I knew his and my last 200’s were some of the best in the field, so I just sat on him’
True to form, Amos led through the bell in a swift 51.39, pulling away from Mathews in the last 50 metres. With the automatic qualifying place sewn up, the Australian shut down and played to the adoring home crowd with a series of Usain Bolt-esque celebrations, the relief etched across the 22-year old’s face.
“I heard the crowd on the top bend and thought ‘holy crap’! I knew I was clear with about 50 metres to go, so just enjoyed it and lapped it up from the crowd”
Joshua Ralph (NSW) finished third in semi-final three where a tactical opening lap of 54.42 saw Ralph stuck to the inside rail. His time of 1:47.73 was unfortunately not enough, ruling the Australian out of the final.
Women’s and men’s 200m
The Australian fans enjoyed another triple-treat as three more Australian’s progressed to the semi-finals of the women’s 200m. Victoria’s Maddie Coates was the fastest of the trio as her 23.51 placed third to easily progress to the semi-finals.
Queenslander Riley Day cruised into the next round as well with 23.71 to place fourth behind Bahama’s 400 meter champion and race favourite Shaunae Miller-Uibo (22.95). Larissa Pasternatsky (NSW) was the fastest of the non-automatic qualifiers when she placed fifth in 23.55.
Canada’s Crystal Emmanuel was the fastest of the day as she ran 22.72 to take her place in tomorrow’s three-way shoot-out before the medal round.
Another Queenslander enjoyed the support from the parochial crowd as Alex Hartmann progressed to the semi-finals in the men’s 200m running 20.66 (-1.5) to be sixth fastest overall heading into the next round.
Quickly becoming crowd favourites, with regular appearances in Carrara Stadium Cedric Dubler(QLD) and Kyle Cranston (NSW) worked through the 100m Hurdles, Discus and Pole Vault.
Dubler had mixed fortunes, with two his three stronger events on the schedule finishing second in heat two of the 110m Hurdles, 14.24 earned 944 points.
Enduring the Discus, a throw of 40.59m placed Dubler ninth, awarded 677 points.
Dubler appeared right at home on the Pole Vault runway, topping Pool A with a vault of 5.00m returning his second 900 point plus score (910 points).
Cranston was competitive throughout the morning session, fifth in the 110m Hurdles (15.12, 835pts), seventh in the Discus (43.19m, 730pts), and second in Pool B with a vault of 4.40m (731pts).
Australia’s hopes for a Decathlon medal took a significant upturn, as competition leading Canadian Damian Warner recorded a no height after three failures in the Pole Vault, registering zero points and leaving the track immediately, shaking his head in frustration.
Dubler’s medal hopes were bolstered, finishing the morning session placed third (6749pts), whilst Cranston moves to seventh on 6229 points, one place behind previous competition leader Warner (6297pts).
Men’s and women’s 400 metre Hurdles
Ian Dewhurst (NSW) finished third in semi-final three of the Men’s 400-metre hurdles just four-hundredths of a second outside his season’s best.
The 27-year old ran bravely against the likes of semi-final winner, 2015 World Champion Nicholas Bett (KEN), collapsing across the finish line in 49.84, missing the final by 0.09 seconds.
Eleven-time national 400m hurdle champion Lauren Wells was unable to progress to the semi-finals despite running a season’s best 55.73 behind Jamaican race favourite Janieve Russell’s 54.01.