Written by Grace Kalac – Runner’s Tribe – Reporting from the Gold Coast

Anneliese Rubie and Morgan Mitchell have both collected a spot in tomorrow night’s 400 metre semi-finals at the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.

Rubie cruised through her heat, easing up at the line to stop the clock at a credible 52.32. Initially placing second, she was later promoted to first place when Nigerian winner Patience George was disqualified.

“It’s fun being able to cruise through. A lot of the time I feel like I’m fighting just to stay in it every single round so it’s nice to be able to run a time like that,” she said.

“I’ve been working on a similar race plan all year and it’s meant I’ve been able to finish really strong.”

Relaxed and composed down the front straight, Rubie said she absorbed the applauds of spectators and had “so much fun” competing before a home crowd.

Rubie, who expects that the time she requires to qualify for the final will be within the 51.50 to 51.99 range, said her recent work over the 800m has made her a durable athlete.

“I’m so much fitter and stronger. It’s definitely proved that when I come out here I’m more resilient,” Rubie said.

Mitchell faced a messier heat, which she attributed to a struggle to stay relaxed and her lane one draw. She was passed by Kenyan Veronica Kamumbe Mutua on the line, missing out on a top-four automatic spot. Despite finishing fifth, however, her time of 52.81 earnt her a spot as a late qualifier.

“I went out too hard then tried to slow down and then tried to pick up. I thought I could cruise but then she got me,” she said.

“I was too tense the whole time but it’s good to shake those nerves out. It was awesome feeling the energy of the crowd but I just want to bottle it up a little bit more for the next race,” she said.

After a rocky few months, Mitchell said she has already exceeded her expectations from the start of the year.

“I’m really excited to be in. If you can run as fast as you can, anything can happen,” she said.

In her first major championships, 17-year-old Bendere Oboya ran 55.62 to finish her heat in sixth.

“The last few days there’s been some ups and downs but I did try to come in here with a positive mind. I’m happy that I came out here but I couldn’t perform to my best today,” Oboya said.

The morning session of day two also saw 110 metre hurdler Nicholas Hough gain auto-qualification into the semi-finals. An elated Hough crossed the line third in 13.46.

Cedric Dubler is positioned second in the decathlon with 1888 points after the first two events, coming out on top in the long jump (7.59m) and finishing third in the 100m (10.69).

Jake Lappin produced a Commonwealth Games record of 3:11.72 in his T54 1500m heat, eclipsing Kurt Fearnley’s previous record by eight seconds. The record was held only for a few moments, however, with heat two winner Richard Chiassaro clocking 3:05.76. Kurt Fearnley also dipped under the record, finishing second in heat two in 3:06.72.

Tonight’s events will feature Linden Hall, Zoe Buckman and Georgia Griffith in the women’s 1500m heats, Steve Solomon in the men’s 400m semi-finals, and Celia Sullohern, Madeline Hills and Eloise Wellings in the women’s 10,000m final.

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