Sydney 21-year-old Rohan Browning has stormed to the equal fastest 100m time by an Australian on home soil and the fastest by an Aussie for 12 years when he clocked 10.08. It is a time only Matt Shirvington and national record holder Patrick Johnson have bettered.
Impressively he matched it with Japan’s sub-10 sprinter Yoshihide Kiryu as both were given the same time, but Kiryu was given the win.
“I was always hoping (to run this fast tonight),” said Browning. “Training had been going great. I was confident.”
Two more Aussies ran PBs, in third place Jack Hale, for the second week in a row, took 0.01 off his 100m PB, clocking 10.19 and in fifth, local Alex Hartmann ran 10.27 (0.02 from his PB). Jake Doran, with 10.32 (his third fastest ever time) rounded out a terrific 100m for the Aussies.
Earlier in the evening they had combined to run 38.83 in the 4x100m relay, not far outside their Commonwealth Games performance of 38.58.
Australian sprinting has been strong over the last few years, a point Browning noted.
“If it wasn’t me, it could have been any of those guys because everyone is in red hot shape. Jack’s (Hale) had a very consistent season and that’s the key in this sport.
“It’s tough. You need that competitive stimulation. Training is one thing, competition is another. You’re always looking to step it up, every time.
The evening was kick started by a para-athletics world record by Corey Anderson in the Javelin. The T38 cerebral palsy athlete had the record in his sights after two mid-52m throws on his first attempts. On his fourth he nailed it with 53.93m, well over the old mark of 52.96m.
“I was feeling really well (at the start of the competition today). After the first 52 I was like ‘yeah that’s pretty good’, and then I threw another 52 and I was like ‘yeah I got to get this’. Third throw I was a bit tired and was like I got to make this back up again and get it and I just banged it out.”
Making his season debut, Steve Solomon led a very determined men’s 4x400m relay to a world relays qualifying time of 3:03.67, well under the standard of 3:05.00. The team of three NSW athletes - Ian Halpin, Tyler Gunn and Solomon, were joined by local Alex Beck.
“We came out here with a lot of pressure on us to qualify for this team,” said Solomon. “The boys did a magnificent job, everyone executed the plan. Ian had a fantastic first leg, Tyler had an unbelievable second leg taking control over that back straight, Alex came home really strong and the easy part for was for me to just bring it home.”
A natural leader, Solomon noted aditional member of the squad, coached by Paul Pearce.
“Also we have Luke Stevens and Murray Goodwin part of the team as well who may not have been on the track tonight but are an integral part of this team.”
In the field, Canberra’s Kelsey Barber was outstanding in her first competition for over five months, nailing a world championships qualifier o 62.65m on her third attempt.
“First comp can normally feel a bit inconsistent, blow out some cobwebs,” said Barber. “But I was really happy with the way I was moving into those throws tonight and I felt good, so it was nice to get that one away.”
In second was 2018 world leader, Kathryn Mitchell in her first competition for 11 months. She reached a best of 60.73m on her fifth attempt.
“Yes back into competition after almost a year,” she said. “We’re working on some things and it was good to just try and get back into the rhythm of comp and try to practice what we’ve been doing. There’s a lot of work to be done. Results wise we are heading in a good direction, I’m not stressed.”
World number five long jumper, Brooke Stratton responded to her narrow defeat last week in Perth by Naa Anang, taking the long jump with a leap of 6.74m, a seasons best and another world championships qualifier. Naa was again consistent in-front of her home crowd leaping 6.69m.
“Definitely (on having a close competitor), I don’t think I’d be jumping what I’m jumping,” said Stratton. “It’s so good having that competition and that challenge week in week out with Naa. I couldn’t ask for someone to be pushing me like she is.”
• After a scare in the 100m, Japan’s Yoshihde Kiryu ran a very quick 200m time of 20.39, to defeated Queenslander Alex Hartmann who ran a solid 20.59. However at the start Hartmann seemed to be many metres behind and he confirmed at the finish his blocks had slipped.
• There was a surprise winner of the 400m when 16-year-old Ellie Beer slicked nearly a second from her PB to run 52.53 seconds. She is now the eighth fastest in Australian junior history.
• Darcy Roper defeated a high qualify long jump field where four athletes were over 7.80m. He was himself over eight metres on three occasions, with his best 8.05m. In second was his training partner, Henry Smith who was again impressive hitting 7.90m.
• The breakthrough season of javelin thrower Liam O’Brien continued when he hit an amazing 81.36m on his opening attempt. It shot him to number 10 Australian all-time.
• Matty Denny may have just missed the world championships qualifier, again but he is becoming amazingly consistent. The standard of 65 metres just evaded him, but his season to-date has been 64.09m, 64.05m, 64.49m and today 64.85m.
• The record breaking form of Katie Hayward continued in the 3000m walk. Clocking 12:10.17 in the 3000m walk, to break Jane Saville’s mark of 12:27.74. The time was also a World U20 best ever time.
David Tarbotton for Athletics Australia