News & Updates

26 March 2021 • Track and Field

Ratcliffe books Olympic qualification and breaks Oceania record

A delighted Julia Ratcliffe poses by the scoreboard after going beyond the Olympic hammer qualifying mark with her first throw (Photo: Alisha Lovrich)

Julia Ratcliffe set a stunning Oceania record and also banked the Olympic automatic qualification mark in a rip-roaring demonstration of hammer excellence in the evening session on day one of the Jennian Homes New Zealand Track and Field Championships.

Ratcliffe set the standard from round one, adding more than a metre on to her lifetime best to power the hammer out to 73.40m and comfortably beyond the Tokyo automatic standard of 72.50m.

Yet the experienced Commonwealth Games champion was not finished and in round four added a further 15cm on to that mark with a 73.55m effort – 8cm in excess of Lauren Bruce’s Oceania record mark set here at Mitre 10 Park last September.

In a further measure of the strength in depth of New Zealand hammer, Bruce responded impressively to the challenge, unleashing a best of 72.76m in round four but had to settle for silver still chasing an elusive first national senior hammer title.

Ratcliffe was understandably ecstatic with her performance and said: “It feels so good to get the Olympic qualification mark off the plate and I can finally focus on building up for Tokyo.

“It was just awesome. It was like the culmination of 16 years of training with Dave (coach and father) in the crowd. In the last week or so training has been up and down, so to keep it altogether was the big challenge. It was more than I could have hoped.”

Two months ago in her last outing in Hastings, Ratcliffe committed three no throws so for the 27-year-old thrower to launch such a long throw in round one was a surprise given her cautious strategy.

“Because of how it went last time (in Hastings), I went in with the attitude that the first throw was my safety throw, so I focused on just getting it between the little white lines. That was my relaxed one, obviously relaxed worked for me!

“I was still in shock a bit after the first throw, but it was, yes, just keep on doing what you are doing.” 

Behind, Lexi Maples (Canterbury) secured bronze with a best of 51.76m – 43cm clear of Mayce Ballantyne (Otago).

Tom Walsh promised he was in his best shape this year and the three-time world champion duly delivered to take out his 12th national title with a season’s best and championship best performance of 21.79m.

The 29-year-old Cantabrian has slowly cranked through the gears after a slow start to the season and was pleased with his efforts today, producing 21.77m in round three bettered in the final stanza with his best of the day.

“I’m really happy with four of the throws today, I’m starting to feel like I do when I throw far,” said Walsh. “I just wasn’t quite nailing it off the hand.

“I did exactly what I wanted to do today through the comp. Earlier in the season I was beating myself up through the competitions but I got myself out of the hole I’d dug myself worrying about other people. I’m happy with the way it went.”

In the absence of Walsh’s rival Jacko Gill – who has defeated Walsh on four of their previous five meetings this season – local boy Nick Palmer (Hawkes Bay/Gisborne) grabbed silver with a best of 18.36m – within 0.05 of his lifetime best. Liam Ngchok-Wulf (Auckland), 17, completed the podium with a PB of 15.35m with the 7.26kg implement.

Following her magnificent resurgence at the Sir Graeme Douglas International in Auckland when she produced her longest throw for five years, Dame Valerie Adams was a little disappointed with her performance en route to a record equalling 17th national shot title.

The 36-year-old ten-time global champion struggled to find her rhythm from four weeks ago and today had to be satisfied with a best of 18.43m – achieved in the sixth and final round.

Maddison Wesche, national champion in 2019, was also a little below-par – achieving 17.38m for silver.

Adams, who matched the record of Val Young as a 17-time national shot champion, said: “It’s really awesome to win title number 17 tonight but I’m really gutted with how I performed. But that’s the name of the game, you have to perform to the very best you can. We have to adopt a good attitude and take it on the best we can.”

On the track, Hayden Wilde mounted a successful defence of his national 5000m title as the triathlete continues to offer proof he has the potential to eventually feature in two sports at the Olympics.  

After starting rapidly for the first kilometre he then slowed and moved several lanes to his right to allow the pursuing Eric Speakman and Oli Chignell to take the pace. However, he quickly lost patience, returned to the front and simply accelerated away from the field with his rhythmic style a joy to watch.

Wilde stopped the clock in 13:43.53 to lower Robbie Johnston’s 25-year championship best performance and strike gold.

Hawke’s Bay local Speakman finished strongly to claim silver in 13:58.78 with Chignell (Otago) winning bronze in 14:05.05.

“I’ve got some mixed emotions, I’m really happy to take the championship record and I’m happy to run sub-14 again,” said Wilde, who last month in Hamilton ran a PB of 13:29.47. “But I’m really frustrated I couldn’t go faster today. I was really looking for those time bonuses to get that 5000m ranking a bit higher. Having said that, 13:43 it is not a slouch time, especially with the wind here.”

Camille Buscomb meanwhile continued her busy programme at Mitre 10 Park by cruising to victory in the women’s 5000m in 16:17.30 to follow the bronze medal she won earlier today in the 800m.

The 30-year-old World Championship 5000m and 10,000m 12th place finisher was always the class of the field and quickly established a rhythm to take her away and clear of the field and to her fourth 5000m title.

Former New Zealand cross country champion Maiya Christini held off the late-charging 2017 5000m champion Laura Nagel and her fellow Aucklander by 1.82 seconds in 16:52:52.

Camille will return for the 1500m tomorrow, where she will seek a third medal from the championships.

New Zealand high jump record-holder Hamish Kerr was a little short of his majestic best today but still did enough to take out his sixth national title with a best of 2.24m.

Kerr, who set a new national record of 2.31m in Wellington last month missed out with his three attempts at 2.29m but will be hugely encouraged by his efforts during a memorable summer.

Jayden Williamson (Auckland) grabbed silver on countback from Marcus Wolton (Canterbury) 2.02m in the battle for the other medals.

Portia Bing secured a fourth successive national 400m hurdles title but was a little below a high level of expectations, recording 57.57. The Aucklander had set a New Zealand resident record of 55.99 in Hamilton to raise hopes she could endanger her national record of 55.86 or even threaten the automatic Olympic qualification mark of 55.40.

However, with a strong wind down the back straight to contend with, that challenge was always unlikely but the former heptathlete had the consolation of banking yet another national title.

National heptathlon silver medallist Alessandra MacDonald (WBoP) posted a time of 1:01.44 for silver ahead of Maddy Spence (Canterbury) in 1:02.58.

Cameron French racked up his fifth national 400m hurdles title in a solid time of 51.39. The 28-year-old Waikato Bay of Plenty athlete was a little frustrated by the windy conditions and next week returns to his training base in Bath, England in a bid to potentially qualify for the Tokyo Olympics.

Behind, Louis Andrews (Canterbury) edged a tight battle for silver by 0.05 from Jonathan Maples (Manawatu) in a time of 56.20.

Athletics NZ Coaching Coordinator Mariah Ririnui secured her first national senior long jump title in seven years and third in total courtesy of a second-round leap of 6.01m (+2.2m/s).

The 28-year-old from Waikato Bay of Plenty edged a tight tussle from defending champion Briana Stephenson 5.98m (+2.3m/s) with former national U18 bronze winner Tegan Duffy breaking the sand at 5.92m (+4.5m/s) to earn bronze.

Anthony Nobilo banked a third successive national hammer title with a season’s best of 63.80m. The 21-year-old rose to the challenge to finish comfortably clear of fellow Aucklander Anthony Barmes (56.12m) with Todd Bates (Otago) edging Harpeet Singh by 4cm with a best of 54.72m. 

World Para Athletics T36 200m silver medallist Danielle Aitchison (WBoP) ran a swift 28.93 – 0.05 quicker than her personal best, but with a +2.2m/s following wind it will not count as a New Zealand record mark. Behind, Anna Steven T64 also ran well to register 29.02.

Paralympic, Commonwealth and World Para silver medallist Holly Robinson also impressed in the women’s javelin, launching the spear out to a season’s best 42.15m with her first-round effort. The performance was encouraging after she broke a finger only last month.

Kaia Tupu-South (Auckland), who earlier in the day won the women’s U20 discus, completed the double with victory in the U20 shot, courtesy of a 15.53m effort.

For a review of the action from earlier in the day please click here

Jennian Homes New Zealand Track and Field Championships Day One Results 

Senior

Men
100m: Shay Veitch (Otago) 10.34s 1, Cody Wilson (Wgtn) 10.42s 2, Elliot Nye (Cant) 10.76s 3.
800m: James Preston (Wgtn) 1m 48.49s 1, Dominic Devlin (Akld) 1m 49.47s 2, Daniel Roswell (Cant) 1m 53.63s 3.
5000m: Hayden Wilde (WaikBoP) 13m 43.53s 1, Eric Speakman (HBG) 13m 58.78s 2, Oli Chignell (Otago) 14m 5.05s 3.
400m hurdles: Cameron French (WaikBoP) 51.39s 1, Louis Andrews (Cant) 56.20s 2, Jonathan Maples (Manawatu/Whanganui) 56.25s 3.
Shot put: Tom Walsh (Cant) 21.79m 1, Nick Palmer (HBG) 18.36m 2, Liam Ngchok-wulf (Akld) 15.35m 3.
Hammer throw: Anthony Nobilo (Akld) 63.80m 1, Anthony Barmes (Akld) 56.12m 2, Todd Bates (Otago) 54.72m 3.
Long jump: Veitch 7.78m 1, Felix McDonald (Otago) 7.38m 2, Max Attwell (Cant) 7.02m 3.
High jump: Hamish Kerr (Cant) 2.24m 1, Jayden Williamson (Akld) 2.02m 2, Marcus Wolton (Cant) 2.02m 3.
4 x 100m relay: Auckland (George Kozlov, Hamish Gill, Tommy Te Puni, Matthew Wyatt) 41.86s 1, Otago 42.32s 2, Wellington 42.61s 3.

Women
100m: Zoe Hobbs (Akld) 11.32s (equals New Zealand national record, resident record)1, Georgia Hulls (HBG) 11.58s 2, Symone Tafunai (Akld) 11.71s 3.
800m: Katherine Camp (Cant) 2m 6.50s 1, Rebekah Greene (Otago) 2m 7.60s 2, Camille Buscomb (WaikBoP) 2m 8.33s 3.
5000m: Buscomb 16m 17.30s 1, Maiya Christini (Akld) 16m 52.52s 2, Laura Nagel (Akld) 16m 54.34s 3.
3000m race walk: Courtney Ruske (Cant) 14m 28.74s 1, Danielle McLean (Wgtn) 18m 1.38s 2, Sarah-Amy Rhind (RWAkld) 19m 33.05s 3.
400m hurdles: Portia Bing (Akld) 57.57s 1, Alessandra Macdonald (WaikBoP) 1m 1.44s 2, Maddy Spence (Cant) 1m 2.58s 3.
Shot put: Dame Valerie Adams (Akld) 18.43m 1, Maddison-Lee Wesche (Akld) 17.38m 2.
Hammer throw: Julia Ratcliffe (WaikBoP) 73.55m (New Zealand allcomers, resident and national and Oceania record) 1, Lauren Bruce (Cant) 72.76m 2, Lexi Maples (Cant) 51.76m 3.
Long jump: Mariah Ririnui (WaikBoP) 6.01m 1, Briana Stephenson (Akld) 5.98m 2, Tegan Duffy (Cant) 5.92m 3.
Pole vault: Imogen Ayris (Akld) 4.15m 1, Aria Rhodes (Akld) 3.15m 2.
4 x 100m relay: Auckland (Amy Robertson, Symone Tafunai, Livvy Wilson, Briana Stephenson) 45.71s 1, Canterbury 47.00s 2, Tasman 47.82s 3.

Under-20

Men
100m: Tommy Te Puni (Akld) 10.70s 1, Dominic Overend (Akld) 10.82s 2, Ethan Wallace (WaikBoP) 11.06s 3.
800m: James Harding (Akld) 1m 51.63s 1, Luke Hitchcock (Akld) 1m 53.09s2, Ethan Smolej (Cant) 1m 55.29s 3.
5000m: Will Anthony (Wgtn) 14m 40.76s 1, Cameron Clark (Cant) 15m 14.66s 2, Max Yanzick (Cant) 15m 18.14s 3.
3000m race walk: Daniel Du Toit (Wgtn) 13m 31.89s 1, Jonah Cropp (Cant) 13m 47.64s 2.
400m hurdles: Cameron Moffitt (Otago) 56.74s 1, Flynn Johnston (Manawatu/Whanganui) 58.93s 2.
Discus throw: Max Abbot (Wgtn) 49.32m 1, Blessing Sefo (Akld) 48.01m 2, Quinn Motley (Cant) 42.70m 3.
Javelin throw: Ethan Walker (Otago) 58.12m 1, Bradley Bidois (WaikBoP) 52.34m 2, Campbell Robb (WaikBoP) 50.64m 3.
Long jump: Quinn Hartley 6.74m 1, Mathew Bealing (Wgtn) 6.58m 2, Moffitt 6.45m 3.
Pole vault: Joshua Bull (Cant) 4.32m 1, Charlie Cameron (Cant) 4.03m 2, Ruben Vogel (Akld) 3.88m 3.
4 x 100m relay: Auckland (Troy Middleton, Dominic Overend, Stephen Thorpe, Abhijeet Parmar) 43.78s 1.

Women
100m: Tayla Brunger (WaikBoP) 11.78s 1, Hinewai Knowles (WaikBoP) 12.00s 2, Maia Broughton (Cant) 12.02s 3.
800m: Rosa Twyford (Cant) 2m 15.40s 1, Krystie Solomon (WaikBoP) 2m 16.58s 2, Brianna Lee (HBG) 2m 17.11s 3.
5000m: Hannah Gapes (WaikBoP) 16m 47.56s 1, Chloe Browne (Akld) 17m 13.39s 2, Bella Browne (Akld) 17m 23.03s 3.Maddie Wilson (Cant) 1.69m 3.
3000m race walk: Antonia Martin (Akld) 16m 37.19s 1.
400m hurdles: Ruby Brett (HBG) 1m 7.11s 1, Katie Corbett (WaikBoP) 1m 12.65s 2.
Shot put: Kaia Tupu-South (Akld) 15.53m 1, Natalia Rankin-Chi Tar (Akld) 13.50m 2, Maddie Wilson (Cant) 11.19m 3.
Discus throw: Tupu-South 52.50m 1, Rankin-Chi Tar 47.59m 2, Suzannah Kennelly (Akld) 47.29m 3.
Javelin throw: Brianna Tirado (Akld) 41.67m 1, Wilson 36.55m 2, Sam Mackinder (Manawatu/Whanganui) 35.02m 3.
Triple jump: Lara Hockly (Taranaki) 11.64m 1, Michelle Farmer (Taranaki) 11.02m 2, Stella Anderson (Akld) 10.55m 3.
High jump: Josie Taylor (WaikBoP) 1.73m 1, Alice Taylor (WaikBoP) 1.73m 2, Wilson 1.69m 3.
4 x 100m relay: Waikato Bay of Plenty (Krystie Solomon, Hinewai Knowles, Annalies Kalma, Tayla Brunger) 47.92s 1, Auckland 49.38s 2, Canterbury 49.66s 3.

Para

Senior Men
100m: Nikau Peipi (Tasman) 12.10s 1, Joe Smith (Akld) 12.13s 2, Zachary Orbell (Akld) 15.01s 3.
200m: Mitch Joynt (Akld) 23.87s 1, Smith 25.52s 2, Zachary Orbell (Akld) 32.38s 3.
800m: Jasper Moss (Cant) 2m 36.07s 1, Guy Harrison (HBG) 2m 43.58s 2.
Long jump: William Stedman (Cant) 5.52m 1, Peipi 5.33m 2, Joshua Taylor (Wgtn) 4.11m 3.
Discus throw: Daniel Meyer (Nthld) 32.28m 1, Peipi 29.41m 2.
Javelin throw: Nikau 36.64m 1, Benjamin Baines (Otago) 33.44m 2.
Wheelchair 100m: Jaden Movold (Akld) 18.84s 1.
Wheelchair 200m: Movold 36.88s 1.
Wheelchair 800m: Movold 2m 27.02s 1.

Senior Women
100m: Danielle Aitchison (WaikBoP) 13.76s 1, Anna Steven (Akld) 13.83s 2.
800m: Sarah James (Cant) 2m 57.34s 1, Montana Brown (Cant) 3m 11.49s 2.
Discus throw: Sionann Murphy (Akld) 19.72m 1.
Javelin throw: Holly Robinson (Otago) 42.15m 1.
Wheelchair 100m: Gabrielle Wright (Akld) 22.42s 1, Sarah James (Cant) 22.94s 2, Montana Brown (Cant) 24.52s 2.
Wheelchair 200m: James 42.46s 1, Brown 46.09s 2.
Wheelchair 800m: James 2m 57.34s 1, Brown 3m 11.49s 2.

To view all the results from the Jennian Homes New Zealand Track and Field Championships please click here

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