A gutsy front-running performance by Melissa Duncan has delivered her 6th place in the women’s 1500m final at the IAAF World Championships.
Taking the race on from the outset, Duncan fought her way to the front to lead the athletes for much of the first kilometre before being consumed by the chase pack to cross in a time of 4:09.69, as Sifan Hassan (NED, 4:04.96) won gold.
Duncan’s start in the final was history making, with the 26-year-old becoming the first Australian woman to achieve the feat in the 1500m at the IAAF World Indoor Championships.
Her next challenge is to win the national championship in two weeks’ time to ensure her automatic nomination for selection to the Australian Olympic Team.
“Indoors is so different, it’s very pushy, you can see where you want to go but you have to get there. I had a feeling that that would continue, so I decided to keep it rolling, get out in front, and test how I could back up from a heat run the day earlier. I wanted to make sure that I can recover well and test out the rest of the field,” Duncan said.
“That start list was really strong so I wanted to control the race as well as I could. This is as good a result. The way that I ran was the best way for me to make sure that I could finish where I did, I’m very happy.
“The Australian championships will be last race for a while. Hopefully I can come away with the win and do all I can to ensure my spot on the plane to Rio. If all goes well it will be great to lock way the nomination and then focus on preparing.”