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Australian Athletics Championships – Day 8 – Final Day

It’s been an epic week. There’s no doubting that…

A huge congratulations to all competitors who gave it their all in (at times) trying conditions! Athletics Victoria couldn’t be more proud.

With that being said, there’s still one more day of delicious competition!

The first set of medals for the day went to two Victorians in Aliyah Canepa and Zoe Cunningham in the Women’s U16 hammer throw. Canepa was a class above the rest with a final throw distance of 51.34m to take home the gold! Cunningham was next best with a silver medal distance of 45.66m!

In the Women’s 100m hurdles heats Danielle Shaw ran amazingly to break the Victorian record with a time of 13.44s, qualifying through to the final against Sally Pearson (QLD) and Michelle Jenneke (NSW). Unfortunately the race didn’t pan out us Shaw would have liked, finishing with a time of 13.76s, however, it was a great effort regardless!

In the Women’s 200m ambulant, Isis Holt continued the amazing form shes had all week, grabbing another medal (silver) with a time of 30.74s!

The Men’s Open 3000m steeplechase was hard fought the whole way round in blustery and wet conditions. In survival of the fittest, Nathan Percy persisted all the way to the finish line, grabbing a bronze medal in a time of 8:56.42s.

Christopher Mitrevski continued his awesome summer! In the Men’s long jump he nailed a gold medal jump on his first attempt with a total distance of 7.90m, put the cue in the rack and invited his competitors to challenge him…None of them could and Mitrevski got himself the top spot on the podium.

The Women’s 200m final featured some big names in Rio Olympian semi-finalists Ella Nelson and Morgan Mitchell (400m). Although it’s not Mitchell’s favoured event, the 2017 National Title holder put in an awesome effort, just missing out on a bronze medal in a time of 24.28s (24.276 photo finish with Larissa Pasternatsky of NSW who crossed in 24.271).

The Rio Olympian strong man Damien Birkinhead was a cut above the rest in the Men’s shot put. Dominating the whole field as he normally does in Australia, Birkinhead threw a gold medal distance of 19.80m. Oh and it was also during the time the Men’s 1500m final was on, which meant it was pouring rain!

Although Eleanor Patterson may have looked a little shaky in the qualifications, it didn’t show in the final! Patterson was confident the whole way through, clearing heights with ease. It came down to a jump-off against Zoe Timmers (WA) which Patterson triumphed in, clearing the height of the required 1.82m, whilst also having 1.83m to her name during the final itself. An awesome effort from the Rio Olympian.

One of the feature events of the night was the Women;s 800m final starring Lora Storey (NSW), Anneliese Rubie (NSW), Georgia Griffith, Abbey de la Motte and Zoe Buckman. It was a slow pace for the first lap, and when things got going with 200m remaining it was Storey who held her nerve to finish first, with Rubie no too far behind. Griffith put in an awesome effort throughout the whole race, grabbing herself a bronze medal with a time of 2:06.00s. De la Motte was courageous the whole race, just missing a podium spot for herself with a time of 2:06.25s.

The main event o the day was the Men’s Open 1500m final featuring big names in Ryan Gregson, Matthew Ramsden, Jordan Gusman and Isaac Hockey. As soon as the race began the heavens decided to open up and it started to bucket down. The pace was slow from the get-go with all the athletes feeling each other out. Gregson placed himself perfectly a couple deep from the leader and looked to have the perfect strategy. Rising star Ramsden was towards to the back, but knew coming to the final lap he would have the kick that would catapult him towards the front. However, as the athletes approached the bell there was carnage. Gusman hit the deck and almost took out Gregson! Ramsden seemed to miss the debacle and held his nerve moving towards the front with 300m to go. Gregson composed himself immediately after Gusman went down and continued with the leaders. With 150m left in the race Gregson kicked it up a gear and Ramsden went with him! With the rain belting down into their faces the crowd were going wild watching the master and his apprentice. To say it was an exciting finish would be an understatement. Gregson held his composure and crossed the line victorious (in a time of 3:52.86s) with Ramsden a very close second (in 3:53.12s)!

The final events of the day were the relays (4x100m and 4x400m). Getting things rolling were the Women 100m specialists featuring Sophie Taylor, Kendra Hubbard, Bittany Burkitt and Maddison Coates. It was always going to be a tough ask coming up against NSW, but the girls ran well, just missing a podium spot, crossing the line in fourth with a time of 47.36s. No doubt they’ll be back next year with some fire in their belly! The Men were up next and form the start they looked confident. Michael James got the race off to a great start firing out the blocks and giving Michael Hansford a cheeky lead, before Nathan Riali rocked the bend in grand fashion setting a home straight showdown for Christopher Mitrevski who was hungry for another gold medal (to go with his long jump victory)! They were all successful – crossing the line first with a time of 40.56s! Next up was the Women’s 4x400m featuring Emily Lawson, Jemima Russell, Ashleigh Horrobin and Sarah Billings. On paper NSW looked to have it sorted,  but the Victorian girls were out for gold. From the start NSW had commanded a sizeable lead, but the girls held their nerve and ran beautifully to ensure themselves of a silver medal finish! Was a great way to end their week with Billings and Russell adding to their medal count as well as Lawson and Horrobin claiming their first! It was now time for the Men to close a weeks competition. Conrad Coumaros, Harrison Roubin, Matthew Napier and Liam Procaccino were valiant in their effort, all running solid 400m legs, and closing Victoria’s week with another podium finish – claiming bronze in a time of 3:15.98s.

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It was an awesome week with plenty of amazing performances! A huge congratulations to all Victorians who competed with pride…

Can’t wait for next year!

#AAC17

For a full list of Day 8 results click here.