The 2017 Australian long jump champion Chris Mitrevski (RMIT University) has jumped to fourth place in the men’s long jump competition on the final night of competition at the 2017 Summer Universiade in Taipei.
Finishing with a best mark of 7.78m, the 21-year-old came close to the medals with a performance of 7.78m which he achieved on his third attempt.
Hitting the board sweetly on every attempt Mitrevski will use the experience of competing in front of a huge stadium audience as he attempts to qualify for what would be his second Australian senior team that will be heading to the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast.
In the men’s 800m, Stephen Knuckey (RMIT University) ran a solid race to finish in sixth place in the final stopping the clock in 1:47.90 – his second-best time ever.
In the women’s high jump, Australian representatives Nicola McDermott (The University of Sydney) and Hannah Joye (Griffith University Gold Coast) placed an honourable seventh and ninth respectively. Joye’s highest clearance was of 1.84m, while McDermott flew over 1.88m – just 2cm off her personal best.
The green and gold was represented in three of the four relay finals on the final night of competition. The women’s 4x100m relay team of Liz Hedding (The University of Melbourne), Larissa Pasternasky (The University of Newcastle), Jasmine Everett (The University of Notre Dame Australia) and Bella O’Grady (University of Technology Sydney) ran an even race to finish in sixth place with a season’s best time of 45.15 seconds.
O’Grady was also a part of the women’s 4x400m relay team of Alicia Keir (The University of Newcastle), Alex Bartholomew (Macquarie University), Jess Stafford (University of Sydney) as the quartet finished in sixth in a time of 3:41.08.
Finally, the men’s 4x400m relay team of Dan Mowen (University of Queensland), Taylor Burns (Queensland University of Technology), Harrison Roubin (Deakin University) and Tristan Robinson (The University of Melbourne) were edged out of the medals in a rough and tumble affair. At the second change off a number of runners hit the track, allowing Australia to didge the carnage and slip into a tight scond place, however the strength of the other teams overran Australia in the closing stages to finish fifth in a season’s best of 3:09.21.
AUSTRALIAN UNIROOS AT TAIPEI 2017 ATHLETICS WRAP
It wraps up a big six days of competition at the athletics for Australia, as the green and gold take home three medals – Kyle Cranston’s (Australian Catholic University) gold in the decathlon, Alysha Burnett’s (Australian Catholic University) silver in the heptathlon and Taryn Gollshewsky’s (Central Queensland University) bronze in the discus throw. A special mention must also go to Georgia Griffith (Monash University), who was presented the bronze medal in the women’s 800m after the Cuban who won was disqualified, only to have her reinstated bumping Griffith back down to fourth.
Still basking in the warm glow of his gold medal presentation, Kyle Cranston’s upset victory in the men’s decathlon was the highlight for the Australians at the track and field.
Ranked twelfth by personal best heading into the Games, Cranston sealed his medal with a 4:42.08 performance in the 1500m, taking his total score to 7687.
After two grueling days of competition at Taipei Stadium, Cranston set new personal bests in four of his ten events taking the win from Juuso Antero Hassi of Finland with 7566 points and Aaron Booth of New Zealand with 7523 points.
The 24-year-old who is currently studying Exercise and Sports Science at the Australian Catholic University was able to shine as the hot conditions took a toll on the European athletes.
In wining gold, Cranston becomes Australia’s first ever medallist in the decathlon at the Summer Universiade.
Fellow Australian Catholic University classmate Alysha Burnett too has a souvenir to bring home as she took the silver medal in the heptathlon.
In wet but humid conditions, Burnett closed out her most successful heptathlon campaign ever setting a new personal best of 5835 points
In her final event, the 800m, Burnett was at the tail of the field with 200m to go. After digging deep Burnett regained much of her lost ground on her competitors to place 6th in a PB of 2:27.45, scoring 725 points and secure the silver.
With a potent mix of elation and exhaustion Burnett collapsed to the track as she learned of her placing.
“That was probably one of the toughest but definitely the most rewarding 800s in my career,” Burnett said.
In the throwing, Masters of Teaching student Taryn Gollshewsky mastered the wet conditions better than most, by taking the bronze medal in the women’s discus throw.
Gollshewsky’s first throw of 53.82m was enough to grant her an additional three attempts as the sixth best performer, but it was her fifth attempt of 58.11m that propelled the 24-year-old into the medal positions.
In agonisingly close and frustrating circumstances, Georgia Griffith was forced to hand back her incorrectly awarded bronze medal after confusion surrounded the final placings in the women’s 800m final.
Originally crossing the line as the fourth finisher, Griffith was upgraded to the bronze medal position after it was revealed that first finisher Rose Almanza Blanco (Cuba) was disqualified for running approximately 15 metres on the inside of the track with 180m to go.
After Griffith had the privilege of standing on the dais inside Taipei Stadium, it was revealed that Almanza Blanco’s protest was successful as she was reinstated as the gold medallist.
Nevertheless, Griffith had ran a gutsy race, coming home strongly in the outer lanes after a rough and tumble affair finishing in in 2:03.52.
Other top eight performances went to:
· In the women’s 3000m steeplechase Paige Campbell (Charles Sturt University) ran an aggressive race to narrowly miss out on the medals, finishing fourth in 10:36.36. Studying a Bachelor of Physiotherapy, the 21-year-old ran a near three second personal best.
· In the final of the men’s pole vault, the slippery conditions made it very difficult for the 12 athletes which included Australia’s Angus Armstrong (The University of Sydney). With singular failed attempts at 5.10m, 5.20m and 5.30m, Armstrong failed to clear 5.40m to finish in equal fifth place overall. Portugal’s Diogo Ferreira won gold with 5.55m.
· Nick Hough (The University of Sydney) would be excused for feeling hard done by in the men’s 110m hurdles. Hough ran solidly through his semi-final, crossing the line in fourth place with 13.70 (0.9) to advance to the final on time, but was soon disqualified under IAAF Rule 168.7a (Hurdles - Trails foot/leg below horizontal plane of the top of the hurdle). A protest followed, and after watching the video replay, the decision was reversed, but it left the 23-year-old just 30 minutes to prepare for the final. Despite the interruption, Hough soldiered on to finish sixth in 13.73 (-0.5).
· Bachelor of Biomedicine student Isaac Hockey (The University of Melbourne) ran a brave race in the final of the men’s 1500m finishing in a solid sixth place in 3:45.32.
· In the field, University of Southern Queensland’s Lara Neilson finished sixth in the final of the women’s hammer throw with 65.47m.
· Fellow Queensland thrower Will White (University of Queensland) finished seventh in the final of the men’s javelin with 77.74m. The event was taken out by local-favourite Chao-Tsun Cheng on his final throw that broke the Asian record by over two metres (91.36m) leading to an explosion of celebration from the host nation.
· US-based distance runner Isobel Batt-Doyle (University of Washington) came in a solid seventh place in 34:32.13 in the women’s 10,000m
· Riley Cocks (Flinders University) who took the track for the 25-lap 10,000m final finishing in eighth in 30:47.00.