Images by Casey Sims and Andrew Heil
Naa Anang and Celeste Mucci won their second gold medals of the meet, while New Zealand’s Tom Walsh unleashed a monster throw in the shot put.
Anang became the first woman to win the 100m/long jump double, leaping to a wind-assisted 6.88m (+2.4). Her series also included a legal 6.81m (+1.5), which bettered the qualifying standard for this year’s world championships. In second was Australian record holder, Brooke Stratton, who leapt 6.70m.
After a gruelling heptathlon win Celeste Mucci made the most of the absence of Sally Pearson from the 100n hurdles final, running 13.09s to take the win from Michelle Jenneke and Brianna Beahan. Mucci’s time moved her to eighth on the Australian all-time list.
Pearson had been pushed to 12.99s in her heat by Beahan (13.07s) in her first hurdles race in 18 months. The dual world champion and Olympic gold medallist from London decided not to contest the final.
“[I]t was a difficult decision to withdraw from my first competitive hurdles race in over a year, but I made the decision to listen to my body following my win in the heats,” Pearson wrote on Instagram.
“I made a promise to myself this year that I am going to listen to my body every step of the way.”
In the field New Zealand’s Tom Walsh recorded the highest quality performance of the meet, sending the shot to 21.91m. The reigning world champion indicated that the world record of 23.12 metres, set by Randy Barnes in year, is in his sights.
“I think the world record has been around for too long. If I don’t do it someone else will soon enough. I’m going to have a red-hot crack at that in the next six months,” said Walsh, who owns a PB of 22.67m.
Photo by Andrew Heil
In an evenly paced race Catriona Bisset ran to tenth on the Australian all-time list, running 2:00.48 to lead home a Victorian trifecta, with Georgia Griffiths second (2:01.26) and Morgan Mitchell continuing her impressive progress over two laps in third (2:01.60).
Luke Mathews unleashed a deadly kick to easily take out his first national 1500m title in 3:43.15 following a tactical race. Mathews covered the final lap in 52.10 seconds, with most of the winning margin from Ryan Gregson (3:44.03) and Rorey Hunter (3:44.05) being accrued down the home straight.
A transition to a full time teaching career has worked wonders for Lauren Wells with the ACT athlete recording a personal best of 54.87s following nine consecutive years or running in the 55 second range. It was Wells’ twelfth national title in the 400m hurdles.
Nick Hough took out the 110m hurdles in a swift 13.55 seconds. Hough was one of seven athletes from Australia’s oldest athletics club, Sydney University Athletics Club, to strike gold, with other winners being Catriona Bisset (800m, running in Melbourne University Athletics Club colours), Ian Dewhurst (400m H, 50.29s), Paige Campbell (3000m St, 9:49.68), Nicola McDermott (Hugh Jump, 1.92m), Angus Armstrong (pole vault, 5.50m) and Sarah Clifton-Bligh (100m, 200m, 400m and 800m wheelchair).
Photo by Andrew Heil
Alex Hartmann won his fifth consecutive 200m title in 20.68s from Jake Doran (20.76s) and Abdoulie Asim (20.87s), while New Zealand’s Zoe Hobbs (23.42s), Maddison Coates (23.50s), Nana Owusu-Afriye (23.64s) and Kristie Edwards (23.87s) stood atop the podium in the women’s event.
More photos from the 2019 Australian Championships: