Australia lost one of its athletics’ greats with the death of Rick Mitchell on 30 May. A nation our size doesn’t produce many Olympic gold medallists, even fewer on the male side of the gender balance. And still fewer in individual track events. With a silver medal in the 400 metres in Moscow in 1980, Mitchell is our most recent male Olympic medallist in an individual track event. Before ‘Mitch’, it’s right back to 1968 and Ralph Doubell with his gold medal in the 800 metres in Mexico City.
No such difficulty in nominating a favourite performance of the week. That would have to be Jeff Riseley’s 1:45.34 800 victory in the Citta di Conegliano meeting in Italy. Many things you could say here – just off the plane, ran down Algeria’s Mohamed Belbachir up the final straight, missed the Olympic auto standard by a mere 0.14 seconds. Mostly, however, it was a performance to make you smile.
In 2020, I had the pleasure of racing the takayna Ultra, well I only did the 21km event- but I'll claim it. takayna (Tarkine) is situated in Tasmania's north-west corner, and it is one of the most amazing places I have ever seen. It's up there with America's Yosemite, the Great Barrier Reef, or Brazil's Amazon. But few Australians have heard of it, and our politicians are quickly trying to destroy it.
34 year-old Jeff Riseley dropped a 1:45.34 bomb in Soldano, Italy, overnight. Riseley competed in the 2008, 2012, and 2016 Olympic Games. Now he stands just 0.14 of a second away from his fourth Games; kudos to the big man from Victoria - taking 800m longevity to the next level.
Melbourne, Australia; - In a sign of unity, Athletics Australia and Coles Little Athletics Australia have announced they will host a joint 2021 Australian Cross Country Championships. The Australian Cross Country Championships will be held this year on Saturday, 21 and Sunday, 22 August in Adelaide, with 2,500 athletes set...
Brad keeps moving towards his pacing Gold Coast Marathon. Julian makes progress on his injuries in Noosa while pacing Ellie. Brady feels the knock-on effects of the recent Victorian restrictions. Izzi Batt-Doyle & Rose Davies both post 5000m Olympic qualifiers and personal bests at the Nijmegen World Athletics meet in the Netherlands....
Like a pair of rare Air Jordan's, the Oakley Encoder's sell-out fast on drop day. Inspired by the Greek God Apollo that was well versed in many activities, this frame is built to meet the needs of numerous sports. It's slick, cool and funcational as they come. And, it's Oakley.
Jessica Hull has returned to her winning ways at the Portland Track Festival. The Australian, running for Nike, won in a sprint finish clocking 14:57.00. Hull, the Australian 5000m champion, is a serious contender for an Olympic final berth. One of Australia's most promsing talents since Benita Willis rocked the world, she has proven herself not only fast, but a winner of important races.
Meanwhile in the Netharlands, Izzi Batt-Doyle and Rose Davies have both run Olympic 5000m qualifiers. Izzi stopped the clock at 15:04.10, with Rose behind in 15:08.48. Izzi's time takes her to #6 on the Australian all-time list. Davies, The 2020 Zatopek 10 champ, is on the rise, her time the 8th fastest all-time by an Australian. Congrats Izzi and Rose....
Some fast times in Doha overnight, as some huge names return to international athletics. Our flash recap is below: Men's 1500m The 2019 world 1500m champ Timothy Cheruiyot commenced his 2021 campaign where he left off in 2020, by winning. The 3:28 runner clocked 3:30.48. He beat home Australian Stewart McSweyn by just over a second (3:31.57). The race went out super fast with splits of; 400m (54.30), 800m (1:50.77),and 1200m (2:48). That's a banging fast first 2 laps. Cheruiyot was too strong over the final 150m, with the Kenyan pulling away from McSweyn. Australian's Matthew Ramsden and Ryan Gregson (now running for Puma) finished at the back of the field.