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Patrick Tiernan’s stellar season continues

Tuesday, 13 June 2017 | Athletics Australia

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Patrick Tiernan has soared to 5th on the Australian All-Time List for the 3000m over the weekend at the Racers Grand Prix in Kingston (JAM) producing a 12.5 second personal best for 7:41.62.

Tiernan's stupendous season continued with the 22-year-old Queenslander finishing just 0.42 seconds behind winner and distance running legend Mo Farah (GBR).

Tiernan now sits only behind Craig Mottram, Collis Birmingham, Ben St. Lawrence and Shaun Creighton as the fastest Australians over the distance.

The performance continues an world-class season from Tiernan who also sits 4th on the Australian All-Time List in the 5000m, and 3rd for the 10,000m.

From four races in 2017, Tiernan has clocked world championships qualifying performances in the 10,000m (27:29.81 PB, Palo Alto, May 5), and the 5000m (13:13.44 PB, Eugene, May 27) as well as a 13th place performance at the World Cross Country Championships in Kampala, Uganda.

In Kampala, Tiernan was the second highest placing non-African in the field (behind 11th placed American Samuel Chelanga) and finished less than a minute behind gold medallist and defending champion Geoffrey Kamworor (KEN).

In total it's been a massive 12 months for Tiernan who rose to the forefront of the Australian distance running scene when he took line honours at the 2016 NCAA Cross Country Championships representing his American College, Villanova.

Back in Australia late last year, Tiernan won his maiden senior Australian title, taking the gold medal in the men's 10,000m in 27:59.74 held at Zatopek:10 in Melbourne.

Also in Kingston was Sally Pearson, who closed out her first stint of international racing with a 12.83 (+1.4) in the 100m hurdles to place third just behind USA’s Shakira Nelvis in 12.78 and Jamaican Danielle Williams in 12.81.

Over in the United States, 20-year-old Georgia Griffith ran out-of-her-skin to produce a maiden world championship qualifying performance over the 800m, stopping the clock in 2:00.90 to put her name in the mix for the London 2017 bound team.

Competing at the Portland Track Festival, Griffith’s time was a 1.19 second PB and the fastest recorded by an Australian over 800m since Tamsyn Lewis-Manou in 2011.

Griffith’s performance also doubles as a Commonwealth Games ‘A’ qualifier to ensure the Monash University student will be in the box seat for Commonwealth Games selection in 2018.

“I think I’m in shock,” Griffith said after the race.

“I had to double check the time to make sure that it was correct. It’s amazing to have the qualifier.”

Read more about what Griffith had to say about her breakthrough performance here.

Also in Portland, US-based Australian Morgan McDonald finished second in the 5000m, stopping the clock just 0.68 seconds outside a London 2017 qualifying performance with 13:23.28.

The 21-year-old runner who attends the University of Wisconsin-Madison is having a strong 2017 so far highlighted by a 3:57.52 earlier in February.

In other results from Portland, Australian World Under 20 representative Isaac Hockey also raced a PB, producing a time of 3:42.65 for the men’s 1500m, while Sarah Billings’ PB 800m time of 2:03.66 moved her up to 5th place on the Australian Junior All-Time List.

Looking toward this week’s international athletics calendar sees the Diamond League series visit Oslo (NOR) on Thursday 15 June and Stockholm (SWE) on Sunday 18 June, for the fifth and sixth legs of competition in 2017.

In Olso, Rio Olympic semi-finalist Ella Nelson will be looking to break 23 seconds for the first time this season in the women’s 200m as she lines up against 2015 world champion Dafne Schippers from The Netherlands. 

Nelson will also attempt to back-up three days later in the women’s 200m at the next meeting in Stockholm.

Both Ryan Gregson and Jordan Williamsz join a start list of fifteen runners in the men’s 1500m that includes Kenyan world championships silver medallists Silas Kiplagat and Elijah Manangoi as well as 800m European champion Marcin Lewandowski from Poland. Gregson is also on the start list for men’s 1500m in Stockholm on Sunday.

Victorian Jack Rayner will run in the men’s ‘U20 Dream Mile’ with the aim of improving his personal best of 3:58.7 over the classic distance.

In Stockholm, Luke Mathews takes to the track after clocking two world championships qualifiers in the 1500m over the past two weeks. Mathews will contest the men’s 800m with the goal of breaking the London qualifying time of 1:45.90.

Three-time Australian 1500m champion Zoe Buckman will tackle the women’s 3000m looking to improve on her personal best of 8:56.29 she set in February 2015.

Fabrice Lapierre will look to put his disappointing last performance at the Hengelo FBK Games, in which he fouled three times, behind him in the men’s long jump. Lapierre, who took silver at the 2015 world championships will face in form South African Luvo Manyonga who boasts a personal best of 8.65m to Lapierre’s 8.40m.

 
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