Genevieve LaCaze (Vic) has ensured that Australia could, for the first time ever, field a full quota of three runners in the women’s 3000m steeplechase at the IAAF World Championships.
Stopping the clock in a Beijing 2015 qualifying time of 9:35.17 at the IAAF Diamond League in New York (USA), LaCaze’s result ensures that she can now be considered for selection alongside the already named Madeline Heiner (NSW) and Victoria Mitchell (NSW).
Heading to the front at the sound of the gun and remaining there for the opening lap, LaCaze settled into a drawn out group of chasers after eventual winner Hiyot Ayalew (ETH, 9:25.26) broke away from the rest of the pack to take a convincing lead that she would never relinquish. The London Olympian then led the challenge to chase Ayalew down in the closing stages, maintaining her spot amongst those in the mix for minor placings to cross fourth in what is also a season best time.
The start today was LaCaze’s first competitive hit out in the steeplechase since winning the Australian championship in Brisbane (Qld) in March and follows a 4:32.6h run in the women’s mile at the Adrian Martinez Classic this past weekend.
Not to be outdone, Hamish Peacock (Tas) ensured that his consistent form in the men’s javelin rolled on, with the 24-year-old throwing an impressive 82.91m on his fifth attempt to place a strong third behind winner Viteslav Veseley (CZE, 83.62m). His series also included marks of 78.66m, 81.31m, 81.09m, 80.75m and 82.25m.
Peacock opened his 2015 international campaign with an 81.36m throw at the Golden Grand Prix in Kawasaki (JPN) last month, before throwing 81.66m and 80.66m at the IAAF Diamond League events in Doha (QAT) and Birmingham (GBR) respectively and winning at the Meeting Iberamericano in Huelva (ESP).
He has his sights set on a top-eight finish at the IAAF World Championships and believes that he is on track to deliver such a result after performing so capably against the best athletes from across the globe on multiple occasions this season.
“My main aim in Beijing is to finish in the top-eight and at all of the Diamond League meets that I have thrown at I’ve needed to throw 80 metres to place at that level. It’s been the perfect preparation for the world titles and to hit beyond that mark in the first round in Doha and Birmingham was great too,” Peacock said.
“I have always been relatively consistent which is absolutely important, but this year has been my best yet. I am always aiming for consistency. Naturally if you can perform at a high standard regularly then you should be confident of performing going into a championship.
“It has all been great experience for me, the best throwers in the world have been in every field I’ve encountered. The depth now is amazing and to be involved and feel like I belonged there is a real boost.”
The Diamond League returns for Round 8 in Paris (FRA) on Saturday 4 July, with Alana Boyd (Qld, pole vault) and Kim Mickle (WA, javelin) to lead the green and gold charge.
Competition continues this weekend in Rabat (MAR), where Fabrice Lapierre (NSW, long jump) and Selma Kajan (NSW, 800m) will start, while the recently IAAF World Championships qualified Collis Birmingham (Vic) and Zoe Buckman (Vic) will take to the streets for London (GBR) for a road mile.
For more information on the competition plans of Australian athletes this coming weekend, and throughout June, please follow this link.
To view and download results from the IAAF Diamond League in New York (USA), please click here.