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Friday, 28 March 2014

2014 National T& F Champs Newtown Park Fri 28 Mar - Day 1

Results from Day 1

Joshua Baan (Manawatu-Wanganui) in an upset win in the Junior Men's 5000m race

Malcolm Hicks Men's 5000m winner

Thursday, 27 March 2014

2014 National Track & Field Champs - Liam Malone - The Road To Rio

Photo: Lauren Wafer-Kiddle/Faifax NZ
For those that might have missed it there was a great story last night on TV3’s 3rd Degree programme about Liam Malone New Zealand’s own ’blade runner’. Liam lost both of his legs at an early age due to a birth defect but this hasn’t stopped him from living life to the full. His is a truly inspiring story and a testament to what he has managed to achieve. This weekend he will be at Newtown Park competing in the AWD 100m and 200m sprint events for Nelson-Tasman with the goal of qualifying for Rio. He deserves our support so if you are in town this weekend head to Newtown Park  
Here is a Nelson Mail story from last year which reports on Liam's aspirations for Rio and his new running blades.

'Blade runner' Liam inspired by public's support

Sarah Dunn 11/9/2013

GAMES GOAL: Liam Malone, at the University of Canterbury, where is studying commerce and psychology. The little legs he is holding were his first-ever pair of prosthetics.

A young Wakefield athlete is well on the way towards becoming an elite amputee "blade runner" after receiving more than $20,000 toward his Paralympic dream.

Nineteen-year-old Liam Malone appeared on TV3's 3rd Degree programme last Wednesday to speak about his goal of participating in the 2016 Paralympics in Rio. The former Nayland College student was born with a condition named fibular hemimelia, which meant both of his legs had to be amputated below the knee when he reached 2.

Now studying commerce and psychology at the University of Canterbury, Mr Malone is a keen sportsman who enjoys rugby, mountain biking, snowboarding and sprinting. In order to make it into his chosen discipline, he plans to buy a $20,000 pair of carbon-fibre "blade" prosthetics that would sharply increase his speed and efficiency.

He explained that when non-amputees ran, their leg muscles naturally returned "a large proportion" of energy expended, meaning they did not tire as quickly. His current prosthetics returned very little energy, but the J-shaped blades used by athletes such as South African sprinter Oscar Pistorius would work more naturally with his body.

Mr Pistorius has the same condition as Mr Malone. Mr Malone has said that he admired the older athlete's sporting achievements despite his recent arrest for the murder of his girlfriend.

Further similarities between the two include their transition from rugby to sprinting, and both have lost their mothers. Mr Malone's mother lived with cancer for six years before passing away last year.

He said he expected the blades would change his running style, but he was unwilling to estimate how much faster he might end up.

"I think a lot of it will come down to individual chance."

Following the TV show's screening, Mr Malone received donations from all over New Zealand that more than covered the cost of his first set of blades. A trust has been set up to handle the overflow.

"It's pretty remarkable actually, I didn't expect how many sponsors I got. It's been inspiring and overwhelming."

He will be measured up for the blades by a technological team before ordering them through the New Zealand Artificial Limb Board in Christchurch. The process will be a new twist on a familiar theme for the teenager, who has destroyed "uncountable" prosthetic limbs during his athletic pursuits.

He expects to receive the new blades within three to five months.

Mr Malone's father Murray said the Paralympics campaign had been developed independently.
Although based in Wakefield, he is the general manager for a fruit growing and trading firm that operates throughout Asia.

"I've just come back from two months abroad and found all this, it's just fantastic," he said. "I want to give my sincere thanks to all those good people in Nelson who have donated or have called to support us over the last few weeks."

He said his son had stepped back from an earlier involvement with Paralympics activities following his mother's cancer diagnosis. He travelled to Australia as a junior Paralympian when he was 14.

The pair had had a special bond and the young athlete was badly affected by her death, but his father saw his new focus as a sign that he was feeling like his former self again.

"[Making it to Rio] is something he's very capable of doing. He's got a very determined personality."

Source: Mail

2014 National T& F Champs Newtown Park Preview

This will be a big weekend for Athletics in Wellington which hosts the 2014 National Track & Field Champs at Newtown Park. I have posted the preview put out by Athletics New Zealand below and for those keen to follow the action but who can't get to the park then the best plave to go is Live Results

The statistics around the numbers of competitors in a Commonwealth games year makes interesting reading:

CompetitorsTotal = 574
Male = 328 Female = 246
Senior (20+) = 218 Junior (18-19) = 137 Youth (13-17) = 219

Athletes from
Auckland 145
Wellington 101
Canterbury 89
Waikato BOP 54
Otago 46
Manawatu/Wanganui 39
Tasman 25
Taranaki 21
Southland 19
Hawkes Bay Gisborne 12
Northland 3
Overseas 20

1 x Olympic, Commonwealth, World & World Indoor champion
1 x World Indoor bronze medallist
1 x World Junior champion & record holder
4 x 2012 Olympic Athletes
3 x 2013 World Championship athletes 3 x 2014 World Indoor Championship athletes 3 x Commonwealth Games Medallists
116 x New Zealand Representatives from 2013

Key events:
Fri 11.30am Men Pole Pascal Kethers
Fri 3.45pm 100m finals Millar et al
Sat 11.25am 400m finals
Sat 1.35pm Women 800m Nikki Hamblin v Angie Smit
Sat 2.00pm Women shot Valerie Adams Sat 3.15pm Men shot Tom Walsh v Jacko Gill
Sat 3.30pm Women discus Tina Hakeai
Sat 4.30pm Men javelin Farquhar v Langton-Burnell v Smalberger
Sat 4.35pm 4x100m relays
Sun 11.45am Men 400 hurdles Cochrane v French v O’Shea
Sun 12.35pm 200m finals Millar et al
Sun 1.50pm Women 1500m Hamblin v Smit v van Dalen
Sun 2.00pm Men 1500m Hamish Carson v Malcolm Hicks
Sun 2.40pm 4x400m relays
Sun 2.45pm Men Hammer Jensen v Tinkle

Milestones set to be achieved at National this weekend

Author: Athletics NZ 

A Number of major milestones are set to be achieved at the New Zealand Track & Field championships in Wellington this weekend.

World and Olympic shot put champion Valerie Adams will be going for her 13th national shot put title and her 14th title having also won the hammer throw title in 2003. Adams will have had a further week to freshen for the championships after her trip back from Europe last week to compete in Melbourne last Saturday. She should be out over 20 metres and challenging her national championship meet best of 20.54m in 2011.

Adams will be competing on Saturday afternoon at 2.10pm at the Newtown Park Stadium in Wellington and will be followed by the men’s shot put final at 3.20pm featuring the clash of the Titans Tom Walsh and Jacko Gill. Walsh is currently riding the crest of a wave having won the bronze medal at the world indoor championships earlier this month and last week in Melbourne set a national outdoor record of 21.16m. Gill on the other hand has not competed this season but has put in some solid work outs and has been reportedly out to 20 metres in training. The 19 year old last competed with the senior 7.26kg shot in November 2012 at Waitakere where he was out to 20.05m and his latest competition was in August last year on the North Shore where he set a world junior record of 23.00m with the 6kg shot. The Glasgow Commonwealth Games performance standard is 20.60m for an A standard and 19.75m for the B. Walsh will also be defending his discus throw title on Friday afternoon. Four times champion Marshall Hall, Karlin Nelson and Hayden Hall should ensure a close and even discus competition.

Interest in the field events will also centre on Philip Jensen in the hammer throw and Stuart Farquhar in the javelin throw.

Jensen at 46 will be out to extend his already impressive list of statistics in the hammer event. Has the most titles in the same event at 19, the most consecutive titles at 16 and the longest span of 25 years, equal with Valerie Young, between his first title in 1988 and the title won last year. Jensen’s prodigy Ryan Tinkle should provide plenty of competition through out the six rounds, Tinkle having thrown 59.11m at the Christchurch international meeting last month and Jensen 59.67m on the North Shore last November. Matthew Bloxham who leads the year’s rankings with 60.91m will not be competing due to a knee injury.

Farquhar who has won the javelin title for the past 12 years will after title number 14 having also won in 2000. Ben Langton-Burnell and Johan Smalberger should be on the podium with Farquhar after the event.

Joseph Millar will be chasing the sprint double treble going for the 100m and 200m titles for three years in a row. His form this season indicates that this is achievable. An interesting entrant in the 100m is Joshua Billington a 17 year old who has opted for the senior race. Two weeks ago at the Australian junior championships the Perth based Billington equalled the New Zealand under 18 record of 10.56.

Mariah Ririnui will face a strong challenge in her defence of the women’s 100m title from Rochelle Coster and Zoe Hobbs. Coster who has four thirds and a second in 2012 to her credit is keen to finally claim a title and Hobbs showed great speed in winning the national secondary schools title in Hamilton in December.

Portia Bing last year’s champion will go head to head with Louise Jones and Fiona Morrison in the 200m with Jones having earlier contested the 400m against Kristie Baillie. Jones won the 400m in 2010 and 2011 with Baillie the 2012 champion.

The last track event during the morning session on Saturday, the men’s 400m final should be a cracker between Tama Toki, Daniel O’Shea, Daniel Dyet, schools champion Bailey Stewart (17), Alex Jordan champion in 2011 and 2012 and three times champion 2006, 2007 and 2008 Cory Innes.

The women’s middle distance running highlight should be the 800m with Delhi Commonwealth Games silver medallist Nikki Hamblin chasing a Glasgow Games qualifying time up against Angie Smit who will wanting to make it three years in a row for the title. Likewise in the men’s 800m Brad Mathas will chalk up his third consecutive title if he wins. Taking it to Mathas will be 2011 champion Michael Whitehead and Ben Anderson.

Hamish Carson, 2012 champion Julian Matthews, Daniel Balchin, Matthew Harris, Ben Moynihan, Malcolm Hicks and Matthew Russ should be amongst those racing over the final lap of the 1500m with Carson going for title number four.

Lucy Van Dalen will be defending her women’s 1500m title. A great race is in store with Hamblin, three times champion 2010, 2011 and 2012, Smit, Camille Buscomb and Katie Wright all vying for the honours.

Buscomb, the national 3000m champion in 2012 and 2013, should have the 5000m to herself on Friday afternoon as she chases a Commonwealth Game qualifying time of 15:32.

Malcolm Hicks is also knocking on the door of qualifying for Glasgow in the 5000m and he will race against Callan Moody, Jono Jackson and 17 year old Jacob Priddey.

Fiona Morrison should successfully defend her 100m hurdles title as should Zoe Ballantyne in the 400m hurdles. Interest in the 110m hurdles will be just how much more Joshua Hawkins can cut off his personal best time, which is now down to 13.97.

Sunday morning will see one of the best 400m hurdles finals in the history of the championships with Michael Cochrane just hundredths of a second off qualifying for Glasgow up against arch rivals this season, defending champion Daniel O'Shea, Cameron French and Peter Callagher.

Michael Banks will be up against defending champion Daniel Balchin in his bid to win his first 3000m steeplechase title. Rosa Flanagan who won the 3000m title in Christchurch last month will be a cut above the rest in the women’s 3000m steeplechase and will have a Games qualifying time of 9:51.00 in her sights.

Michael Parker has a good chance of securing a unique piece of championship history if he wins the 20km road racing walking championship. The 60 year old first won the title in 1978 and if he wins he will hold the longest span of 36 years between titles. However Graeme Jones will be defending the title to the bitter end and it will be interesting to see how the younger Matthew Holcroft handles the longer distance. Parker, the current 3000m walking champion, is also in the shorter event against Holcroft.

Brothers Matthew and Phillip Wyatt will be defending their respective jumping titles. Matthew in the long jump and Phillip in the triple, where a close contest is expected with Scott Thomson and the 2011 and 2012 champion Todd Swanson.

Billy Crayford will want to make it six in a row in the high jump, and should scale the heights with Jordan Peters during the event. With Nicholas Southgate’s absence due to injury, and Pascal Kethers also under an injury cloud, the men's pole vault has lost a lot of it's gloss, but Kethers may contest the junior event.

Liz Lamb and Sarah Cowley will resume their rivalry in the high jump, Lamb going for three years in a row against Cowley who won in 2010 and 2011.

Eliza McCartney should win the pole vault, while Mariah Ririnui last year’s champion, twice champion Cowley and Portia Bing will be the leading contenders in the long jump. Australian based Nneka Okpala should make it four years in a row in the triple jump while Siositina Hakeai is after three straight titles in the discus throw. Nicole Bradley is set for another title in the hammer throw while in the javelin throw 2012 champion Tori Peeters will be competing against Stephanie Wrathall and Amanda Murphy.

Courtney Ruske is up against the defending champion Roseanne Robinson and Kate Newitt in both the 3000m track walk and 20km road walk.

It has been a significant year for athletics with the Commonwealth Games to be held in Glasgow in July/August and the World Junior Championships in Eugene Oregon in July still to go and those on the cusp of qualifying for selection will have this as an added incentive at these championships.

Murray McKinnon
Athletics Correspondent
Athletics New Zealand
0274 806086

Sunday, 23 March 2014

2014 Final Welllington Track & Field Meeting Newtown Parl Sat 22 Mar

This was the last meeting for the local season with the winter programme now underway. Once again participation was light which is surpising given that the national championship is one week away. There were a couple of close finishes in the 800m races while Billy Crayford pushed himself to 2.05m in the high jump which is a good performance in advance of next week's competition. Results and photos




Tuesday, 11 March 2014

2014 Wellington Track & Field Champs Wellington Sat & Sun 8/9 Mar

This meeting ran over Saturday and Sunday at Newtown Park and doubled as a trial run for the National Track & Field Champs scheduled for the end of the month. The programme had a relaxed pace which meant there were long gaps between some events. The weather was fine and sunny although at times the southerly breeze became a bit fresh with a chilly edge. The only negative was the relatively small fields for a number of events with fewer numbers than could be expected on any Black or Gold Saturday. At times the officials outnumbered the athletes. I’m not sure what’s going on but the lack of interest from local athletes seems to be endemic. Full results. Selected images

Farmer digs deep to win track title


This running caper might work out for Hector Farmer after all.

At 21, the Tawa College old boy still doesn't know what kind of potential he has. But it's clearly some, after he outsprinted the highly rated Tim Cornish to win the men's 800m title at the Wellington Track and Field Championships on Saturday.

Farmer looked like he was beaten at least twice, as the two went stride-for-stride down the home straight at Newtown Park. But just when it seemed as though Cornish had the win, Farmer found something extra to take the honours in a personal best time of 1.55.98.

Third-placegetter Julian Baker said he heard Farmer let out a huge growl, as he surged again with 80 metres to go, but the winner couldn't quite remember.

"I don't know. It was really tight coming down that back straight the second time so I made a big move with 300 [metres left] so I could get to the 200 to go first and then hang on with everything I had left," Farmer said.

"I dug hard, obviously yelled a little bit and just got there I think. It was awesome.

"It's also a big PB. By about five seconds, so that's a big PB. I ran as a high school student but haven't run properly in about four years and I've only been training properly for about six or seven weeks so PBs are going to come all the time."

A knee injury, followed by the death of his father, kept Farmer out of the sport. Now, having taken such a big chunk out of his personal best, he said he's in middle-distance running for the long haul.
"I'd like to, within the next two years, get down to that 1.47 mark and then see where I can go."

For Cornish, who'd come into the race as the favourite, second was acceptable in the circumstances.
"With a Wellington champs title on the line and a lot of people missing from the field, like Hamish Carson, it was a battle of tactics and it was going to come down to whoever had the best form in the last 30 or 40 metres," Cornish said.

Third in the 800 at last year's national championships, and with a personal best of 1.51.53, Saturday's time of 1.56.02 was a fair way down on that for Cornish.

"I can obviously go a lot quicker than that and no disrespect to the guys that were here, but it's quite hard to do that without a really deep field," he said.

"I'm going over to the [United] States for about four or five weeks in April-May so I wanted a slow race and to have a go in that last 100 metres or so and Hector was better on the day."

At that point Cornish excused himself, dropped to his knees and vomited.

Source:Dominion Post