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Bol breaks through with qualifier as wind denies Basic

Cover image courtesy of David Tarbotton

After approaching the mark on a number of occasions during the domestic season, Peter Bol recorded the Olympic qualifying standard over the weekend at the Oceania Invitational on the Gold Coast.

Bol clocked 1:44.88 to better the 1:45.20 qualifying mark. Although safely within the qualifying quota based on his World Athletics Ranking prior to the run, achieving the qualifying mark now puts his eligibility for selection beyond doubt, paving the way for his second Olympic appearance when the Athletics Australia selectors name the team at the end of the month.

Hana Basic. Photo courtesy of David Tarbotton.

In a similar predicament, but with her aspirations curtailed by an illegal 2.4 m/s tailwind, was Hana Basic, who sped to victory over 100m in 11.14 seconds. Despite being ineligible for record and qualifying performances (the Olympic qualifying mark is 11.15 seconds), the performance still contributes to the Victorian’s World Athletics Ranking, with a minor deduction for the size of the tailwind. With the Oceania meet being a Category D meet the performance is worth 1206 points, comprised of:

  • Performance Score of 1169 points for 11.14 seconds;
  • Less 3 points for the 2.4 m/s wind;
  • Plus 60 Placing points.

It becomes Basic’s third highest ranking performance and will boost her Ranking Score from 1193 points to 1202 points. At the end of last week that was placed 45th compared to Basic’s 48th performance; with her new ranking dependent on any other changes in qualifiers and rankings internationally over the past week.

Other athletes to record impressive performances on the Gold Coast that will improve their chances for Olympic selection were:

  • Hannah Jones speeding to a new personal best of 12.91 seconds in the 100m hurdles. The performance ranks her fourth Australian all-time and, with the win, was worth 1202 ranking points. This will see her World Athletics Ranking score increase from 1196 points to 1205 points. Previously on the edge of the selection quota in 40th place, she could move as high as 35th when the updated rankings are announced this week.
  • Javelin throwers Kathryn Mitchell (first, 61.67m) and Mackenzie Little (second, 59.98m), whose World Ranking Scores will increase to 1149 (from 1137) and 1143 (from 1142) respectively. This will see their rankings move to a maximum 27th (Mitchell) and 28th (Little) place. Yet to show the form that took her to the 2019 world title, Kelsey Lee-Roberts was fourth in 54.10m.
Cara Feain-Ryan. Photo courtesy of David Tarbotton.
  • Cara Feain-Ryan recording her second fastest career time in the 3000m steeplechase, clocking 9:44.40. Pending other performances internationally, the performance will see her re-enter the quota positions at a maximum 41st place for the field of 45, with a score of 1174 points (up from 1163 points).

Not all went to plan on the Gold Coast, with the women’s 4x100m crossing the line in 43.74 before being disqualified for an illegal final change, while the men’s 4x100m team (lacking Rohan Browning) ran 39.02. To qualify for Tokyo the teams will need to run at least 43.05 seconds and 38.47 respectively.

Not in contention currently for an individual 100m place based on his World Ranking, Victoria’s Jake Penny was the best of Australia’s male sprinters, clocking a new personal best of 10.28 seconds.

Chris Mitrevski in action at the 2020 Zatopek:10 meet in 2021.

Overseas, the FBK Games in Hengelo, Netherlands provided the opportunity for Category A points to be amassed. For reference, Australia’s top meets, such as the Australian Championships and Queensland Track Classic, are only Category B meets. Making the most of the opportunity was Victoria’s Chris Mitrevski in the long jump, leaping out to 8.04m (+2.0) for third place. The performance amasses 1256 ranking points, the highest performance to Mitrevski’s name, and will see his World Ranking increase to 1204 points. This will increase his ranking position to a maximum 33rd as he seeks to force his way into the 32 man field for Tokyo. The qualifying mark, of 8.22m, is also within reach.

The women’s 10,000m saw a new world record to Sifan Hassan in 29:06.82, with Australia’s three representatives all caught up in confusion on the number of laps to run. Genevieve Gregson, Isobel Batt-Doyle and Rose Davies were all lapped twice by Hassan and finished the race after 24 laps, with the infield counter not being updated after Hassan’s finish. After up to half a minute down time, Gregson finished the race in 32:11.89 and Batt-Doyle in 32:52.25, while Davies did not finish. Although none were in contention for the 31:25 qualifying mark required for Tokyo, Gregson appeared on track for a run of 31:45-31:50, which would have been a new personal best.

Running at the Nashville Music City Distance Carnival in the USA, Ed Trippas continued his good form in the 3000m steeplechase, taking victory in 8:30.89. We are unable to confirm what World Athletics category is assigned to the meet, which presumably means a Category F meet with minimal placing point opportunities. As such, the performance would not improve Trippas’s World Ranking Score.

Other international performances of note by Australians were:

  • Catriona Bisset opening her international season with a 5th place 2:01.85 in Hengelo
  • Brandon Starc finishing second in the high jump in Hengelo in 2.20m
  • Heidi See finishing fourth in the 1500m in Nashville in a season’s best 4:08.54
  • Henry Frayne leaping to 7.96m for 7th in the long jump in Hengelo

Action continues this weekend with the second Oceania Invitational meet on the Gold Coast, while there will be particular interest in Turku as Chris Mitrevski competes again in the long jump. It’s again a Category A meet, highlighting the importance of having a good athlete manager to maximise one’s point scoring opportunities.

Of course, watching any of this action is difficult. There was no live steam from the Gold Coast, and to watch Hengelo or Turku you would need to subscribe to FloTrack for USD$30 per month. We recently ran a survey about live streaming and the results are in… along with the potential for $85,000 of new money into the sport that could go to the Australian athletes that entertain us. Read more below if you are interested.

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