Photos by Flynn Hopkins for Inside Athletics
Matt Denny broke the discus meet record while Jude Thomas and Rose Davies were crowned national champions over 3000m at the Sydney Track Classic.
Denny returned to competition for the first time since his fourth place at the Tokyo Olympics and showed he is in strong form with a 64.64m throw, finding an extra gear to claim the meet record.
“I was in the third round and got so close to that meet record (64.23m). I thought, well, I was short at Tokyo and I don’t want to relive that so I found that extra gear. That’s my mantra this year – to find another gear when I need it,” Denny said.
“I’m also really proud of where I’m at for my first throw of the season. Considering the way I started in the year leading into Tokyo, I’m metres ahead and uninjured. I look back at last season, and just before I did my rib injury, I was throwing 66m in in training and that was a good indicator, but I went back to 53m when I got injured, so to get back up to 67 in four months shows that I’m consistently improving.
“It’s a really good start. I didn’t have expectations for tonight given I’m in a heavy training load so I’m looking forward to what’s to come ahead of World Championships in Oregon and the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.
19-year-old Jude Thomas – the Australian junior record holder over 3000m – ran a confident race to claim his first senior national title in a personal best 7:47.26 from Cameron Griffith (7:47.30) and Sam McEntee (7:47.56).
“About five laps in, I was feeling great. I was with the guys I look up to, so it was a great experience. Just being shoulder to shoulder with them is an unreal experience. So to do that and take the win at these Championships makes me look forward to what is ahead,” Thomas said.
The women’s race was similarly a sprint finish, with Rose Davies backing up well from her victory at the Box Hill Burn 5000m on Tuesday, with a 9:06.35 win ahead of Natalie Rule (9:06.68). Holly Campbell was third in 9:08.03.
“There was so much pushing and shoving in the race; I wasted so much energy trying to hold my place. I’m not used to that type of racing. I’m used to consistent pace where we are out there for a lot of laps so we can settle, but I held my nerve, so I’m really happy with the outcome,” Davies said.
“I knew that if I wanted to beat some of the girls here, I had to go hard from a long way out. Jenny has such a good kick, and Nat too. My plan was to go from a long way, which is different for me, but I’m glad I can show myself that I can do that.”
Bendere Oboya made it two-from-two in her step up to the 800m, winning in a new personal best of 2:01.92 after a fast opening lap. Claudia Hollingsworth was second in 2:02.34 in a race where seven women broke 2:04.
Peter Bol was all class in a close men’s 800m, winning in 1:46.03 from New Zealand’s James Preston (1:46.25).
Ella Connolly continued her strong form, winning the 100m/400m sprint double less than an hour apart with runs of 11.37 (+0.3) and a personal best 52.21 seconds.
In other action:
- Liz Clay won the 100m hurdles in 12.92 seconds (-0.2) from Celeste Mucci (13.02).
- Nick Hough ran a season’s best 13.75 seconds (+0.2) to win the 110m hurdles.
- Tokyo Olympian Alex Beck won the 400m in 46.24 seconds
- New Zealand’s Portia Bing took out the 400m hurdles in 55.54 seconds
- Eddie Osei-Nketia from New Zealand beat Australia’s best in the 100m, running 10.30 seconds (-0.1). Jake Hale was a tenth of a second behind in 10.40.
- Great Britain’s Jade Lally won the discus in 59.90m.
- Alex Hulley (68.94m) and Ned Weatherly (68.74m) won the hammer throw.
- High jump wins were recorded by Joel Baden 2.24m and New Zealand’s Keeley O’Hagan (1.80m)
- Dalton Di Medio, 5.15m, and Courtney Smallacombe, 4.15m, took out the pole vault.
- Sally Shokry won the shot put in 13.69m
- Desleigh Owusu, 13.18m (+0.2), and Ayo Ore, 16.11m (-0.9) won the triple jump events.
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