This article originally appeared on athletics.org.au – home of Athletics Australia: http://www.athletics.com.au/News/peacock-longest-qualifier-as-gregson-cruises-to-final-day-6-morning-session-gc2018
Tasmanian Hamish Peacock had the longest throw of the day in the men’s javelin qualifying round as he hurled the spear 81.22m to automatically qualify for Saturday’s final.
It set the Australian up for a great chance to better his bronze medal from Glasgow in 2014.
The throw came on Peacock’s third attempt as earlier throws of 74.58m and 76.49m were below the 78.00 auto mark.
Seven men bettered that distance with the second Australian Luke Cann securing his place in the medal round courtesy of a 77.43m throw to progress as one of four others who went through to the final with a “little q”.
Three Australian’s will line up on Saturday night’s 1500 metre final, as Ryan Gregson (VIC), Luke Mathews (VIC) and Jordan Williamsz (VIC) all progressed through Friday morning’s heat.
Gregson qualified in stark contrast to Mathews and Williamsz, placing second in his heat in 3:43.06, following a strong move with 300 metres remaining.
Gregson said “I felt great. I was within myself at the end. I think I could have gone a couple of seconds faster in the last 200m if I had to. I’ll rest up. I could be a darkhorse, who knows?”
Mathews, fresh off the previous night’s bronze medal in the 800m, began to lose contact with 200 metres remaining, finding the tight turn around from a gruelling 800 metre final difficult. Fortunately for the Victorian, 12 of the field of 18 will progress to the final, therefore Mathews’ seventh-place heat finish (3:47.08) proved sufficient.
“By the time I got to sleep it was 2/2.30am, in and out of sleep the whole night’. I woke up at 6:30 am and did a shakeout and prepared and hoped for the best.”
Williamsz encountered similar difficulties in heat one, swinging wide with 100 metres remaining, the 25-year old closed well, but could only muster a fifth-place finish, as 3:47.75 was awarded the final non-automatic qualifying position.
Men’s 4 x 400m
There was drama and heartache for the men’s 4 x 400m as the Australian men were disqualified for an illegal baton change.
With 200m to go on the third leg, Australia was in fifth with Joshua Ralph wielding the baton behind Jamaica, The Bahamas, India and Trinidad & Tobago.
As the teams entered the straight, Steven Solomon took his place as the fourth man across the track instead of fifth which sealed the Australian team’s fate.
Solomon ran a strong leg to overtake The Bahamas in the closing stages as the team lead off by Murray Goodwin and Daniel Mowen recorded 3.04.22, with the performance being ultimately annulled.
For Fiji, an unprecedented time of 3:19.19 qualified the team for the final.
After six events in the heptathlon Celeste Mucci is in third place with 5219pts while teammate Alysha Burnett is in fifth on 5091pts.
Leading the event is England’s Katarina Johnson-Thompson with 5448pts from Nina Schultz5274pts.
In this morning’s events Mucci reached out to 6.10m (880pts) with her final jump while the heavily strapped Burnett, clearly restricted, managed 5.82m (795pts) with her one and only attempt.
Burnett then put the injury woes aside to throw a season’s best of 46.56m In the javelin, good for 794 pts, while Mucci again set new all-time personal figures of 43.03m for sixth and 726pts.
Going into the final event, the 800m which will be held this evening, Mucci was not focussed on podium places.
I’ll do my best to try and hang on. If I do get a medal it will be great. I didn’t come out here to get a medal. I came out here to get a PB,”
Australia’s most recent medallist in the event was Kylie Wheeler’s silver in Melbourne in 2006.
Men’s 4 x 100m
Some slick passing from the Australian quartet (Trae Williams, Rohan Browning, Jack Hale, Joshua Clarke) easily qualified the team for Saturday afternoon’s final at 2:40 pm. Their time was a season’s best of 38.78 as they finished 7 hundredths behind South Africa in the first semi-final and qualified fifth fastest for the medal decider.
Trae Williams said “With me and Rohan missing out on the final, I think we are looking for a bit of redemption trying to get a medal. The boys got the baton round real clean. Anything can happen in a race. Things go wrong things go right. So tomorrow’s is anyone’s game.”
“We definitely all believe we belong with the fastest guys out there“ said Browning.
England looked strong winning the second heat in 38.15 ahead of Jamaica (38.44) who were anchored by Yohan Blake.
Australia’s most recent medal-winning squad was the 2002 team who finished third.