On the second day of the IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha 2019, Matthew Denny qualified for Monday’s Discus final with a throw of 65.08m – the furthest an Australian has ever thrown at the World Championships.
Finishing with the third longest throw across both groups, Denny was pleased with his days’ work, saying: “It was good, it took me a couple of throws to actually get into it, even at 65m I still wasn’t hitting the flight. Qualifying is probably the biggest brutal thing in the comp. You’ve just got to get through that and now I can go home and just focus on the final.
“I just want to replicate and just do the same thing and put some more distance on it. I just want to compete and do my best for myself and get it all together and push it up against those other boys. If I can put it together in the right moment then who knows what’s possible.”
In the women’s 10,000m final it was PBs all round for the Aussie women. While the 10,000m powerhouse nations of Ethiopia and Kenya, plus Netherlands’ Sifan Hassan (who won the gold), dominated the race, Sinead Diver and Ellie Pashley battled it out to be the first Australian home. With both athletes setting new personal bests, it was Pashley who finished ahead in 13th place, clocking 31:18.89, with Diver just behind in 14th, running 31:25.49.
“A new PB and Olympic qualifier was a shock, I didn’t expect that to happen tonight,” said Pashley. “The start was a little bit funny, everyone was jostling for position but I actually surprised myself and got not a bad position from the start. We then just sat with the big pack for as long as we could, and then there was a break, but we formed our own pack and just worked really well together.”
Elsewhere on the track, Morgan Mitchell was the first Australian semi-finalist in the women’s 800m for 16 years, clocking 2:04.76 to finish in 8th spot. Whilst it was not enough to see her through to the final, Mitchell can reflect with pride on her first full season as an 800m runner, as became just the second Aussie in 47 years (Tamsyn Lewis in 2003) to reach the 800m semi-finals at a major global championship.
In the men’s version of the two-lap event, Peter Bol was the fastest of the two Australians, running 1:46.92 for fifth place in Heat 3, with Luke Matthews clocking 1:50.16 for seventh in the first heat. Neither will progress to the semis.
Tomorrow’s action starts at 23:30 (06:30 AEST) for the Australian team in Doha. 20km Racewalkers, Katie Hayward and Jemima Montag, take on the challenging temperatures and humidity in the Qatari capital, which saw 28 runners DNF during the women’s marathon on Day 1.