Commonwealth javelin champion Kim Mickle (WA) has opened her 2015 international campaign with a podium finish at Round 2 of the IAAF Diamond League in Shanghai (CHN), as Benn Harradine threw another Beijing 2015 qualifier in the men’s discus throw in Halle (GER).
Taking to the runway alongside compatriot Kathryn Mitchell (Vic), Mickle opened her series with a foul before a 63.60m throw in the second round saw her move to the lead with a new meet record mark. Sunette Viljoen (RSA), who won the event at the IAAF Melbourne World Challenge earlier this year, then equalled the distance to take the lead on countback, before local favourite Huihui Lu (CHN) stole the show with a 64.08m performance to win in front of her home crowd.
Third overall, Mickle’s series also included throws of 62.20m and 61.13m, as well as two more fouls. The IAAF World Championships silver medallist is set to return to her base in Perth (WA) in the coming days to continue an intense phase of training before returning to the IAAF Diamond League circuit in Paris (FRA) and London (GBR) during July.
The London Olympic finalist Mitchell placed 10th behind Mickle. Opening her account with a throw of 59.37m, she went on to throw a foul in round two before passing on her third and final opportunity before the field was reduced to eight athletes.
Round 2 of the IAAF Diamond League also welcomed the Commonwealth champion Alana Boyd (Qld), competing in the women’s pole vault.
Boyd entered the competition at 4.38m after choosing to sit out the opening height of 4.16m and 4.28m. Sailing over with her first attempt, she moved to 4.48m alongside eight other athletes but was unable to progress and settled for 5th place. Nikoleta Kiriakopoulou (GRE) won the event with a jump of 4.73m.
Competition in Shanghai (CHN) followed another successful result in the thrower’s circle for Harradine at the Werfertag in Halle (GER).
Achieving his second qualifying performance for the IAAF World Championships from as many outings, the national record holder threw 65.47m to place second behind the new world leader Christoph Harting (GER, 67.93m). The result comes just six days after he threw 66.75m at the Werfer-Cup in Weisbaden (GER), staking his maiden claim for selection to the Australian Flame team bound for Beijing 2015.
Harradine was joined on entry lists by IAAF World Youth Championships gold medallist MatthewDenny (Qld). Denny threw 66.66m to win the boy’s under 20 discus yesterday before returning for the boy’s under 20 hammer throw today, where he threw a personal best of 70.52m to place second.
More locally, Glasgow 2014 starters Eloise Wellings (NSW) and Liam Adams (Vic) reigned supreme in the SMH Half Marathon in Sydney (NSW). Wellings stopped the clock at 1:13:20 to win from Cassandra Fien (Qld, 1:15:21) and Sarah Klein (Vic, 1:16:02). Adams ran 1:04:25, and shared the dais with Jeffrey Hunt (NSW, 1:07:35) and Matthew Cox (NSW, 1:09:54).
Ben St Lawrence (NSW) also ran a half marathon today, with the Australian 10,000m record holder placing 8th in a time of 1:03:41 at the Gifu Half Marathon in Gifu (JPN).
To view complete results from Round 2 of the IAAF Diamond League, please click here.