Robinson on track, Birkinhead throws big

Ballarat based Brett Robinson held tight for the first 2000m before exerting his presence on the feature 5000m race to win in 13:43.15 ahead of 2012 London Olympian David McNeill at the Briggs Athletics Classic this Sunday in Hobart.

2013 World Cross Country representative Mitchel Brown made the first distinctive move with seven laps remaining before the inform Robinson made the race his own.

McNeill closed with just under 400m remaining to force Robinson to turn his head and take notice and stretch out in the last 100m.

“I know he (McNeill) can sprint at the end, I just hoped I had worn him out at the end and did enough to hold on, Robinson said.”

Coming off winning Zatopek:10 in mid December and a strong training block at Falls Creek, Robinson is focused on claiming the IAAF World Championships qualifying time of 13:23.00.

“I’m racing in New Zealand at the end of February, I should have got under 13.20 today and hopefully come nationals I can win that and easy done.”

Current Australian long jump champion Brooke Stratton was a welcome return to the long jump runway after a 7-month layoff due a back injury on the eve of the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

The VIS jumper opened with a distance of 5.92m before moving past the 6.00m mark to finish with an impressive 6.42m ahead of fellow Victorian Corinna Minko (6.18m) and Sandringham’s Emma Knight (5.89m).

Fellow VIS athlete Damien Birkinhead started 2015 in ideal fashion with a personal best of 19.84m in the shot put at Kings Domain.

The 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games representative continues to grow in stature and will be eyeing off the world championship qualifying throw of 20.45 by the Australian Championships this March.

Diamond Valley’s Iain Douglas came home strongly to win the 400m in 47.95 while 20-year-old favourite Luke Stevens went out strongly but couldn’t match Douglas in the closing 50m to finish third in 48.44 in tough Hobart conditions.

Full results can be found here: http://athletics.com.au/Results/Briggs-Athletics-Classic-Live-Results