Birmingham runs away with second national 5000m title

COLLIS Birmingham is the national 5000 metres  champion for a second time.

He outclassed his rivals at the Australian Track and Field Championships  on Saturday night.

Although he missed a qualifying time for the Glasgow Commonweath Games, Birmingham has already booked a place in the Australian team in the 10,000m.

The Ballarat distance running champion crossed the line 4.29 seconds clear of Ben St Lawrence.

 Birmingham's training partner and fellow Ballarat Project member Brett Robinson finished sixth.

Birmingham sat back early before moving into second position behind St Lawrence and then stamping his authority on the event with about 600m to go.

He said he was happy with the performance.

Birmingham said the race had panned just as he had planned.

He joined racewalker Kelly Ruddick as a Ballarat medallist at the championships.

Ruddick collected bronze in the women's 10,000m walk on Friday night.

Sprinter Joel Bee later joined the Ballarat medal haul with a silver in the 100m.

While fourth across the line, he was the second Australian.

Tim Leathart, of NSW, won the title in 10.56 seconds - well outside the Games B qualifying time of 10.23.

He was chased home by Tabakaucoro, Banuve, of Fiji, and Joseph Millar, of NZ.

Bee ran 10.64 to continue his continue season.

Former Ballarat-based Victoria Mitchell booked herself a place on the plane to Glasgow by winning the 3000m steeplechase.

Mitchell ran a second Commonwealth Games B-standard and season best of 9:42.01

It will be her first Australian team since the 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games. 

Adopted Queenslander Jodi Willis-Roberts is another former Ballarat athlete to have figured in the medals in the championships.

She claimed silver women's ambulant discus throw

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