The Australian junior team have finalised their preparations for the IAAF World U20 Championships with a range of brilliant performances in regional meets across Finland over the weekend. There were 10 personal bests covering all disciplines, from sprints to hurdles, distance events, jumps and throws.
In addition to Jake Doran’s stunning Australian U20 100m record time of 10.15, his sprinting team mates also set lifetime bests. Behind Doran, there were a series of personal bests - Zane Branco 10.33, Joshua Azzopardi 10.41, Tom Agnew 10.48 and Harrison Hunt 10.51. Branco, a 200m specialist with a best of 20.68, is now the fifth fastest Australian junior ever. Azzopardi also equalled his 200m best running 21.66. The team of Azzopardi, Agnew, Hunt and Doran combined to clock a snappy 40.07 in the relay.
The women were also impressive in the sprints, however most races were wind assisted. The one time with a legal wind was by relay team member, Kristie Edwards running 11.86. The wind assisting performances were: Commonwealth Games representative Celeste Mucci 11.48 (6.0), Nana Owusu-Afriyie 11.49 (6.0), Riley Day 11.58 (4.2), Mia Gross 11.65 (4.2). It was the same in the 200m with wind assisted times by Commonwealth Youth Games 400m silver medallist Ella Connolly 23.57 (4.0) and 100/200m team members Mia Gross 23.70 (4.0) and Riley Day 23.71 (4.0).
Carley Thomas equalled her 400m best with an impressive winning time of 53.95. Relay team member Cara Jardine was just outside her best ever time, running 55.00.
In Jämsä Ben Schmidtchen, coached by Gary Bourne, lifted his best long jump to 7.75m to make him the ninth best junior in Australian history. Decathlete, Gary Haasbroek also claimed a personal best reaching out to 7.44m. Also in the sand pit, heptathletes, Celete Mucci soared an impressive 6.19w and Camryn Newton-Smith leapt 5.78w.
In the distance events, there were strong performances in the 5000m by Josh Torley (14:46.15) and steeplechaser Montanna McAvoy (16:31.48). Jaryd Clifford ran well over 1500m with 3:53.90. In the women’s event, Sarah Eckel had a win in 4:20.92, ahead of 3000m athlete Amelia Mazza-Downie’s personal best time of 4:23.68 while Lara Crouch ran 4:25.99.
Lauren Hyde-Cooling had a first-time clearance in the pole vault at 3.80m, before missing her attempts at 3.90m. The javelin throwers were also sharp with the best being Perth’s Lara Ilievski throwing 47.20m and Cam McEntyre 68.21m.
On Thursday, European time, the throwers were in top form setting various lifetime bests.
Beaudesert hammer thrower Caitlyn Hester raised her all-time best twice, first to 58.21m then 58.31m. The excellent European tour by Alexander Kolesnikoff has continued with a discus personal best to add to his earlier shot best in Germany. He added nearly a metre with a mark of 57.49m. Jemima Russell clocked 2:06.29 in the 800m, her fastest since 2017. Heptathlete, Camryn Newton-Smith ran a personal best in the 100 hurdles of 14.04.
Some other strong results were
- Aiden Harvey Shot Put 19.35m
- Alexander Kolesnikoff Shot Put 19.37m
- Gary Haasbroek 110m hurdles 14.33
- James Joycey Hammer Throw 70.03m
- Harvey Murrant 400m hurdles 53.92
- Jarmillia Murphy-Knight 400m hurdles 60.16
- Annie Leszczynska 400m hurdles 60.77
- Abbey Caldwell 800m 2:13.98.
The athletes will continue training at their base in Pajulahti before training on Thursday to Tampere for the IAAF World U20 Championships.
David Tarbotton for Athletics Australia
Find out more
Jämsänkoski | Results