News & Updates

9 June 2022 • Uncategorised

The awesome foursome deliver gold in the women's 4x400m

The New Zealand women's 4x400m team of left to right: Camryn Smart, Rosie Elliott, Georgia Hulls and Izzy Neal struck gold in Mackay. (Credit: Alan McDonald).

The New Zealand women’s 4x400m team of Camryn Smart, Georgia Hulls, Rosie Elliott and Izzy Neal produced an outstanding display to blitz to the Oceania title in a time of 3:35.03.

Boasting the top two finishers from the individual 400m – Rosie and Izzy – and the Oceania 200m champion Georgia Hulls, the Kiwi quartet were not short of wheels and so it proved.

After Camryn gave the team a rock solid foundation on leg one, Georgia used her 200m speed to seize the lead down the home stretch on the second leg.

Rosie was challenged by a resolute Australian quartet on leg three, before kicking ahead to open up a ten metre lead by the time she exchanged the baton on to Izzy. The Australian Championships 400m gold medallist then brought home the team in style to claim a memorable win – a little under half-a-second shy of the eight-year-old national record of 3:34.62. Australia A came home in silver (3:37.62).

Camryn said: “I knew I was going to have to start pretty quick, and I had to take into account the three bend stagger and not get too excited and too stressed where I was placed.”

On leg two, Georgia, the 200m specialist, adopted a smart tactical move.

“I did it as a bit of a flying 200m trying to keep in smooth and calm and not too racy at the start and gauge off the Australian runner in front.”

Rosie was delighted to accept the baton in the lead on leg three.

“Georgia put me in a fantastic position, but still on the back straight I was checking the shadow behind me. It felt good to hand the baton on.”

An elated Izzy added: “To run the last leg with these girls is good because I don’t have to do too much work. I just had to hold on and build on that, putting a gap on (Helen) Pretorius, the last of the Australian girls.”

“It is such much easier to run the 400m as part of a team. It is a privilege to run with these girls.”

Nicole Bradley led home a New Zealand one-two in the senior women’s hammer to take out the Oceania title a close-fought battle.

The last event of the day played out to rapidly falling temperatures, Lauren took a first round lead with a best of 67.90m only for Nicole – who has recently won selection for the Commonwealth Games and conditional selection for the World Championships – to overhaul Lauren with a mark of 67.99m in round four. Alex Hulley of Australia claimed bronze with a best of 67.11m.

A victorious Nicole said: “I was hoping for 70 metres today but I will take the win because that is awesome too. I’d only ever thrown a best of 64m away from home, I’d never previously thrown well in Australia, so to compete well here is a big boost.”

On the cold weather she added: “I like my legs to be warm when I’m throwing, but I figured it is really good prep for Birmingham which might be cold too.”

Lauren, who has won selection for the both the forthcoming World Championships and Commonwealth Games and who arrived in Australia from Europe only a couple of days earlier,  said: “I did get cold later on (in the competition) but we want to be able to throw 70m plus wherever whenever so my distance today was not a highlight.

“I’ve had some average comps (recently) and today I had a couple which didn’t connect at the start, and a couple that were starting to move. It is a shame it couldn’t all come together.”

In the senior men’s hammer, Anthony Nobilo, one of the quiet achievers in New Zealand athletics, once gain delivered by launching the hammer out to a PB of 67.29m to win silver.

The sports science student elevated himself to fourth on the all-time New Zealand lists with his first round throw and not even a mighty fifth round heave of 69.09m Australian Ned Weatherly into gold could colour his joy.

“I went into today wanting to have fun,” said Anthony. “I’m here because I enjoy it. I mostly throw well when I’m having a good time and just keeping it as stress free as I can. I’m extremely happy with my result, it has been a long time coming.”

Para athlete Mitch Joynt climaxed a “rollercoaster” week with his second silver medal in the men’s Para 400m.

Yesterday Mitch was disappointed his what he regarded as a disappointing showing in his favoured 200m – despite taking silver – but he bounced back in the one-lap to record 54.74 – a little under half a second shy of is T64 national record.

Australia’s Paralympic T36 champion James Turner took gold in a time of 53.66.

“I’m definitely happier today, I feel it is not the fastest I can run, but I feel it is the fastest I could run today as I was not on fresh legs, explains the 27-year-old Aucklander.

“The lane eight draw was not ideal and I knew Jimmy Turner was going to run quicker than me. But I thought I would pace off him in the second half and kick with 150m to go. I was about as far behind Turner as I expected. So this silver (unlike yesterday’s 200m) means something to me.”

“I was happy with my 100m, it was bad conditions and I was pretty close to my PB. I then had my lowest of the lows in the 200m, but today I feel I’ve redeemed myself.”

Besides the gold medal won by the senior women’s 4x400m quartet, New Zealand snared a further four relay silver medals behind Australia on a fruitful day.

The Kiwi U18 men climbed to the second rung of the podium in both the 4x100m (43.67) and 4x400m (3:29.02) with a special shout out to Oceania U18 high jump champion Ethan Bone for stepping up and featuring on both teams.

A New Zealand team comprising the one-two in the women’s U18 100m Talia Van Rooyen and Marielle Venida as well as Amy Robertson and Brooke Somerfield produced a commendable effort to clinch silver in 47.33.

The U18 women’s 4x400m quartet of Maddie Kelso-Heap, Lucy Shennan, Marielle Venida (two relay medals in one night) and Kimberley Walsh bagged silver in 3:55.05.

Elsewhere, on another medal-laden day for the New Zealand team, versatile Angus Lyver earned an richly rewarded silver medal in the men’s U20 long jump.

The 18-year-old from Palmerston North used his experience of performing in windy conditions to launch out to a best of 7.07m (2.4m/s) in round two and earn a spot on the podium 1cm ahead of bronze medallist Waisale Inoke of Fiji. Australian Blake Shaw proved the best athlete on the day with a best of 7.29m to strike gold.

Angus, who won national U20 gold medals in long jump and decathlon plus minor medals in the 200m and javelin in March, said: “I’m pretty stoked to have jumped that well, it was a great competition against some great awesome jumpers.”

“I can’t complain, jumping 7.07m in the winter. The tailwind was a bit brisk. It was good Palmy (Palmerston North) weather.”

Julia Burnham achieved the “favourite medal” of her career by taking bronze in the women’s U20 100m hurdles in a personal best of 14.80 (0.9m/s).

The Christchurch student was elated as she crossed the line in third behind Australian gold medallist Emelia Surch (13.75) and added: “It is crazy, this is my first international medal and that’s what makes it so exciting. I’ve had a little bit of a quad niggle but thanks to the awesome physios they got me fit enough to run today.”

Other New Zealand athletes snaring bronze today include Levi Pupualii, who overcome chronic nerves which gave him “the chills” to win a highly creditable bronze in the men’s U18 hammer.

The 17-year-old Aucklander was down on his PB of 62.12m but the New Zealand U18 hammer champion can look back with pride on earning a podium spot with a best of 58.63m in the biggest competition of his career.

On a memorable day for New Zealand hammer throwing, Lizzie Hewitt picked up a bronze medal with a best of 48.35m behind Australia’s gold medallist Lara Roberts (54.35m).

Jonah Cropp celebrated a belated birthday – he turned 17 yesterday – by wiping almost a minute-and-a-half from his previous best to win bronze in the men’s U18 5000m race walk in 22:00.70.

The Aussie pair of Owen Toyne and Riley Coughlan could not be stopped, but Jonah took immense pride from his medal.

“It feels pretty good to perform well at a big, big comp like this. My expectation was to dip under 22:30 I just missed going under 22 minutes, 30 seconds better than that! It is a good thing to have this under my belt, and if I make the team next time I hope to perform even better.”

One day after New Zealand claimed gold and silver in the senior women’s pole vault the next generation of Kiwi vaulters also look in good order after Hannah Adye took U20 silver and Lilli Bing U18 bronze after both cleared 3.40m.

For Lilli, younger sister of two-time New Zealand World Championship representative and national 400m hurdles record-holder, Portia, it is another stellar achievement for the Bing family.

For full results go here

For the guide to when the Kiwis are competing on Friday 10 June go here

To follow the livestream of the action go here