JAVELIN thrower Kathryn Mitchell will fly out to Germany on Wednesday in a bid to claim an Olympic qualifier.
Mitchell was tantalisingly close to the A-standard of 61 metres at the Athletics Australian Championships in Melbourne on Saturday night with a throw of 59.23 metres. Ironically, the 29-year-old eclipsed the qualifier in her warm-up to the event.
Mitchell finished second to West Australian Kim Mickle, who threw 61.70m and was already pre-selected for the London Games. The Melbourne-based Mitchell, who is a Eureka Athletic Club member, will base herself in Germany with coach and Russian javelin legend Uwe Hohn. Her deadline is June 11.
“I know it’s in there and I’m really confident,” Mitchell told The Courier last night. “Basically my priority up to June 11 is to throw the qualifier and then my preparation for the Olympics will be whatever it will be. Hopefully I can do enough competitions to get it.”
Mitchell said it had been an “interesting” season in Australia. A throw of 62.51m in January did not count as a qualifier for Mitchell because it was made at an Athletics Victoria inter-club meet. Mitchell was then sidelined with a foot injury and said the weekend’s Melbourne meet was a good start back. “I am happy with my efforts...it’s my first competition back since February because I’ve been managing my foot injury,” Mitchell said.
Racewalking husband-wife duo Jared and Claire Tallent led the Ballarat contingent at the national championships. Each claimed a gold medal for the 5000m walk. Both have already qualified for the Australian Olympic team. Jared Tallent claimed the Australian men’s 5000m title in 19 minutes, 8.83 seconds ahead of Dane Bird-Smith, who was second in 19.48.72.
Claire Tallent edged out in-form Ballarat contender Kelly Ruddick by five seconds, crossing the line in 22:13.64.
Eureka athlete Victoria Mitchell captured the silver medal in the women’s 3000m steeplechase. Mitchell was about three seconds off the winning pace of New South Wales’ Milly Clark, who won gold in 10:05.60, and is set to take her race to Japan. Rising 400m star Joel Bee dropped out in the semi-finals.
Bee was the fifth fastest qualifier in the heats with a run of 48.12 seconds but was ranked ninth after the semi-finals with a time of 47.63.
Meanwhile, newly crowned Stawell Gift champion Matt Wiltshire, from Alfredton, was ranked equal 22nd in the men’s 100m. Wiltshire was a late-call up to the meet after his professional running title and posted a time of 11.02 seconds. Joshua Ross claimed the men’s 100m gold in 10.23.