Above: Ben Langton Burnell on his way to qualifying for the javelin final at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games. Photo by Alan McDonald / Macspeedfoto.
Ben Langton Burnell had a smile a mile wide on learning that he had qualified for the final of the men's javelin at the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.
Requiring a throw of 78.00m or a least be one of the 12 best performers from the two groups, Langton Burnell was out to 75.29m in his first attempt which was enough to secure him a place in the final.
The twice New Zealand champion, who has a personal best of 82.44m, qualified ninth out of 24 competitors. His series was 75.29m, 74.29m and 70.87m.
Although it didn’t go fully to plan Langton Burnell was satisfied with his performance drawing good points.
“The A plan was to throw 78 metres in the first throw, it didn’t quite happen, but every throw had good points to it, so leading into tomorrow I’m going to try and take these good points,” he said.
“It was a great atmosphere, I loved it. The stadium is great and it should be a great final tomorrow,” he added.
“The first throw I had a great block, but the upper body didn’t really connect very well, the second throw I pulled down a jav, the front of the jav was straight up and down and the last one I probably tried a bit too hard.
“But I feel in PB form so I can’t wait. I didn’t have that many nerves I was just more excited to get out,” said a happy Langton Burnell.
The major casualty from Langton Burnell’s group was the failure of the defending Commonwealth champion Julius Yego of Kenya to advance. He had a best of 74.55m and finished 13th. The top qualifier was Australian Hamish Peacock with 81.22m.
Athletics New Zealand Correspondent