News & Updates

7 October 2019 • General

Weekly Round Up: October 7


New Zealand Road Relay Championships, Manfield Park – 5 October 2019

Wellington Scottish made it five years in a row in the senior men’s 67.4km relay, after a close race with University of Canterbury. Seamus Kane, Chris Sanson, Daniel Jones, Kristian Day, Ben Twyman, Niam Macdonald-Joslin and Hamish Carson won in 3:38:06, just 18 seconds ahead of University of Canterbury.

Canterbury led over the first six laps and Daniel Balchin had a two minute lead as he handed over to Ben Musson for the last lap. However Carson was up to the task for Scottish and he anchored them home running the final 9.2km in 26:53 to Musson’s 29:22. Scottish can back twice from over two minute deficits and it took until lap three for Scottish A to get in front of their B team. Carson was outstanding on the last lap, almost an exact repeat of 2002 when John Henwood came from 1:30 down to overhaul Bays in the final kilometre, except this time Carson had to go faster as he had more work to do and as a result broke Henwood’s lap record.

Wellington Harriers who last won the senior women’s title in 2000, prevailed winning ahead of North Harbour Bays and University of Canterbury. The Wellington team of Melissa Black, Sarah Drought, Esther George, Ellen Shaef, Miranda Spencer, Andrea Peat and Alice Wilson led throughout to finish in 4:25:49, five and a half minutes ahead of North Harbour Bays. The defending champions University of Canterbury were third in 4:43:14.
Scottish won four of the five master titles on offer, the men 40-49 for the third year, retained the men 50-59, women 35-49 and the inaugural women’s 50 plus. Auckland University won the master men 60 plus for the first time.

Feilding Moa junior men helped their Club celebrate its 80th anniversary by winning the junior men’s title. Liam Wall, Luke Scott, William Leong, Benjamin Wall and Andre Le Pine-Day covered the 38.2km in 2:11:40 to beat Pakuranga by one and half minutes. Wellington Harriers were third in 2:13:57.

Wellington Harriers successfully defended their junior women’s title, making it number seven. The team of Maia Wilkinson, Esther Kozniak, Anna Bassett, Saskia Cosgrave Drayton and Maali Kyle Ford running 2:32:25, nearly seven minutes ahead of seven times previous winners Auckland City.

Scottish retained the top club status.

Scottish President Michael Wray said that he was delighted the Club defended their previous wins in three men’s grades and to have added the W35 and W50 titles along with the unofficial 70s grade.

“It was an exciting day with several of our winning teams coming from behind to win. Scottish teams were the first and last teams to finish and celebrating the achievements of all our members is what enables us to put together so many teams. I’m even more pleased about having the largest presence, just as we did in Akaroa, than I am at us winning Top Club – and I’m over the moon about winning Top Club!” said Wray.


New Zealand 24 Hour Championship, AUT Millennium Stadium, North Shore – 28/29 September 2019

Correction to last week’s report, Susan Marshall was third in the 24 hour championship with 84.0km and Valerie Muskett was first woman in the 12 hour race with 98.176km.


Athletics Southland Opening Day, Surrey Park – 5 October 2019
Quinn Hartley LJ 6.92m PB, TJ 12.58m PB. Sam Cole 1.5kg DT 40.41m PB. Takunda Mabonga LJ 6.32m PB. Trent Hogg 5kg SP 13.69m. Kennedy Tylor 3000m 10:49.25 PB. Tessa Bird TJ 10.56m PB.



O’Hagan’s 5km, Viaduct Harbour, 1 October: Fred Smithers 16:49, Austin Carter 16:55, John Mauro 17:19. Isabel Emerson 20:38, Laura Brown 21:15, Gooya Mozdbar 22:09.

Rat Race 5km, Takapuna, 25 September: Mike Wanden 17:40, Henry Barfoot 18:20, Dominic Cook 19:10. 2 October: Liam Bird 15:10, Mike Wanden 16:40, Ayub Sadikan 17:40. Maia Lythe 18:34.

YMCA Summer Series 10km, Auckland Domain, 3 October: Daniel Chai 39:41.


Eastside Riverpath 5km, 1 October: John Mering 16:40, Jai Davies Campbell 16:47, Kent Hodgson 18:48. Malesa McNearney 20:22, Helen Gavin 20:51, Xanthe Johnstone 21:28.

Mt Cook

Aoraki Mt Cook Marathon, 5 October: Nicholas Latty 2:50:27, Scott Fletcher 3:03:17, Adam Wilson 3:08:23. Tarja Clarke 3:22:02, Isabella Eaton 3:51:34, Christine Lee-Taylor 4:00:55. Half marathon; Tom Williams 1:20:14, Matt Dawson 1:22:54, Jack McKay 1:23:29. Angela Waters 1:28:18, Rose Marshall-Lee 1:30:19, Jennie Nicholson 1:36:18.


St Pauls Off Road Half Marathon, 29 September: Kelvin Meade 1:24:46, Craig Iversen 1:26:32, Scott Underhay 1:29:03. Jessica Campbell 1:34:33, Kennedy Taylor 1:37:27, Emily Hay 1:40:37.

IAAF World Athletics Championships, Khalifa International Stadium, Doha – 27 September/6 October 2019

28 September

Quentin Rew post-race interview after the 50km race walk where he finished 11th in 4:15:54.

Heat and temperature

“It’s a bit different, certainly nothing this late at night, the heat’s the low 30’s which I’ve done before, the humidity is something different, it was really challenging out there.”
Pace judgement

“People have assumed that I’ve picked up my pace, I actually didn’t I was probably slightly slower the second half but it just looked like that because so many people went out a little bit too ambitiously and then fell apart and I was reasonably consistent throughout and think it was credit to the team of scientists and the helpers here with Athletics New Zealand who pulled a lot of minds together to come up with the plan about exactly how we were going to combat the heat, how we were training, the various strategies to do before and during a race. So I feel like we probably did as much and as well as anyone else. It’s a credit to everyone really.”
The placing

“It’s a little bit frustrating, I think if I was in the shape a year or so ago this would have been a good opportunity to place a bit higher as I’ve been around that 10th, 11th 12th a number of years now so it’s a bit frustrating to not to be able to crack through. I’m just hampered a little bit in the build up with a few niggles so I counteracted that with just preparing for the race better than my competitors, but was probably a little underdone coming in.”

Lining up for Tokyo? “I certainly learnt a lot from this experience and I know that we can handle these conditions, I know things that work and things that we can tweak if something like this happens when you are looking to just fine tune things it’s a good place to be if we had to go back to square one back to the drawing board it would be a lot more of a daunting prospect but we basically know what to do for Tokyo it’s just going to be a case of getting fit getting the body right getting that training and doing all those little things right so I’m pretty confident heading into Tokyo.”
29 September

Temperatures exceeding 30c and more than 90% humidity were the biggest obstacles in the women’s 20km race walk on day 3 of the IAAF World Championships.

Alana Barber headed out in the lead group just before midnight and was sitting in 20th through the first 5km, dropping back slightly to 23rd at the 10km and 15km mark. It was clear to see the conditions had taken their toll as Alana made it over the finish line in 1:40:59 (27th place), eight minutes behind the winner Hong Liu from China.

30 September
In her second event at the 2019 IAAF World Championships in Doha, Zoe Hobbs lined up in the first of six heats for the women’s 200m. The New Zealand champion started well but could not hold on down the straight, finishing sixth in 23.94.

“It’s pretty cool to step out there on the world stage now, I’ve worked pretty hard for this moment, not the best results but just to be here is pretty awesome,” said Hobbs.
“I’m stoked to get my first one under the way and then learn from this and move from there,” she added.

Hobbs was drawn in lane eight and on the outside in lane nine was entered double world champion and second at the Rio Olympics in the 200m Dafne Schippers of the Netherlands. But she was a scratching after she withdrew from the 100m final the day before.
“I was a bit guttered that she wasn’t in there it would have been cool to race her but she’s injured. She would have been on the outside and I would have liked to have try to challenge and chase her, it would have been really cool.

“I now get a bit of a break it’s been a pretty big year of racing, I’ve done over 40 races this year which is pretty intense, it’s been a lot of peak and drop down peak, drop down peak so I just need a bit of a physical and mental break and then get ready to hit it hard again into Tokyo hopefully.”

1 October
Portia Bing was disqualified in the 400m hurdles after qualifying for the semi-final in finishing fourth in her heat in a personal best and New Zealand record of 55.49. Bing led off with her left leg over the first hurdle which went around the side of the hurdle. She was disqualified under rule 168.7 (a) in which the athlete trails the leg below the horizontal plane of the top of the hurdle.

The 26-year-old, who competed as a heptathlete at the 2015 World Championships, switched to the 400m hurdles in 2017 and has twice lowered the national record this season.

“It’s a pretty terrible lesson in some ways but overall the performance was pretty promising.”It’s a bad way to learn a lesson, especially at a world champs but I promise you I won’t do it again.”
Straight after the race Bing commented that it was the happiest fourth place you’ve ever seen.

“It’s only a year and a half since I changed events, so second world champs different event. I didn’t realise that there was going to be no practice start, it was just ready steady go and I thought Oh the race is starting and I went in a lot harder than I actually did in the first hurdle so I actually had a lot of faults. This is the only time that I’ve actually hurdled under pressure, most of the time I’m working in patterns doing things for myself or with the Australian girls and we know each other so well,” said Bing.

Hamish Kerr was forced to retire from the qualifying round of the high jump with a painful ankle. He cleared the opening height of 2.17m on his first attempt and second height of 2.22m on his third. He missed his first attempt at 2.26m before having to withdraw from the competition.

Kerr won the Oceania championship in June with a New Zealand equalling record of 2.30m which qualified him for Doha. He went on to the World University Championships in July qualifying for the final with 2.15m, but the ankle problem prevented him from taking part in the final. At the London Diamond League meeting two weeks later the same situation, he cleared 2.20m but had to retire after an unsuccessful attempt at 2.24m.

Kerr said that it has been touch and go trying to manage the ankle.

“It’s been a long season and I’ve had a dodgy ankle for eight months and we’ve just been managing it and it sort of comes on and off and I thought that we’d be all good today but obviously not. I started well got a starting height of 2.17m at first attempt and then I got over 2.22m on my third attempt which was a good come back. I just put it all out there and after one attempt at 2.26m I felt it go,” he said.
“It’s not a damaging thing it’s more of a pain factor. If I have a lot of pain in it I don’t feel like I can comfortably run my curve. I’d like to think that I did everything I could but sometimes it’s not enough.
“I’ve had a very long year, I started competing about this time last year so I’m looking forward to a bit of a break and have a few weeks off and go missing in action and I’ll come back and start building into Tokyo,” said Kerr.

2 October
Maddison-Lee Weshe who has a best of 18.32m needed 18.40m for automatic qualification or at least 18.04m to make the top 12 for the final of the shot put.

The world under 20 champion was out to 16.55m in the first round and said she felt good after her second round throw of 17.22m but a no-throw in the third moved her out of contention for the final, placing Maddison 25th overall.

“It was intense out there, but exciting and I felt really good coming into it, but it wasn’t my best throws and not what I was after but we’ve got some things to learn from today,” said Wesche.
She added that there was a feeling of confidence after second round.
“I felt really good after the second throw, and I knew I had a bit more strength in me to get a bit more in the third attempt.
“But I slipped in the last little bit in the circle so wasn’t the best thing for me. I would have liked to have been capable of doing the 18.40m, and it didn’t pay off today.”

Camille Buscomb with an 18 seconds PB of 15:02.19 and fifth place in her heat of the 5000m qualified for the final, taking advantage of the invitation to the event from the IAAF. Buscomb needed to finish in the first five to advance. The performance is also under the 15:10.00, entry standard and qualifies her for the Tokyo Olympic Games.

Buscomb said that it was a matter of staying out of trouble over the first half of the race.

“It was pretty messy, a lot of girls and the pace was not quite fast enough for everyone within it, there was lots of jostling and clipping heels, but I was just trying to stay relaxed as long as possible because to get top you have to be able to finish really strong so I tried to stay within myself for as many laps as possible and my goal was to have energy with three laps to go to be able to kick home in the top five.

“I didn’t necessarily know if I was going to make it through, I thought there was a chance as the race went on I just tried to keep control the whole way and then as the end result it can happen, but it’s what matters on the line not what happens two laps out,” said Buscomb.
“With three laps to go there was a gap to the leading four and I had to use my energy to get them. I used a really hard lap and I got within enough and then my goal when I got to the last lap was to catch the two girls by the end of the lap and I went on the bend and into the straight and I hoped no one was going to run past me on the outside.”

3 October
Tom Walsh, requiring an automatic qualifying throw of 20.90m only needed one throw 21.92m to qualify for the final of the men’s shot put.
Tom said it was well executed.

“It was exactly what I wanted to do, you want to come out and throw one and get it over and done with and put the feet up as fast as we can.
“I wasn’t too worried about the distance, it was good to get it done and the final is going to be crazy.
“It is an amazing field with eight guys who have already thrown over 22 metres so eight of those guys can throw far enough to win it, it’s going to be a good old shoot off.

“I think if you throw around 22.50m it will give you a chance to defend my title, whether you win or not is another story but I think it will give it a good go and if you throw over 22 metres you may not get a medal either.
Conditions in Doha

“This is my second time here this year and the Diamond League was good and there’s a lot of talk about the crowd numbers being down but there’s still a good amount of atmosphere out there and it’s good that the Stadium has AC as well.

“I try and stay out of the extreme heat, I warm up in the indoor area and then try and go straight to the call room which has got AC and straight out into the Stadium. Part of the reason of coming to the Diamond League earlier this year was to sort out those things and that’s exactly what I’m used to out here,” said Walsh.

New Zealand will have two athletes in the final of the shot put after Jacko Gill threw 21.12m in his first attempt in Group B, clearing the auto-qualifying mark of 20.90m.

Gill said it was a good start and he is looking forward to the final. It took the warm up throws for Gill to adjust to the circle.

“The circle was a little bit slipperier than I thought and I struggled a little bit off the back of the circle, so I failed my first warm up throw, and then managed to slow down and fix a few problems with my technique and had a good last warm up throw and then a decent first throw in the competition. It was fairly good and still have a bit to learn; a few things I could do better for the final, so we’ll sit down and make those changes,” he said.
The former world youth and junior champion said that training leading up to the championships had gone well.

“It was a really good camp in Cyprus, Athletics New Zealand put that on and did a great job, it was really awesome to train with Tom with everything literally outside of our hotel room was really good so very lucky to be on the camp and have the best preparation possible.”
Gill who was eighth in 2015 and ninth in 2017 said that it was good to have his health back.

“I doubted myself a lot when I was sick so it’s nice to be out here now, it’s a long road back, I been through some pretty dark places, and it’s nice to be here now and it means a lot more than what it did with my first one.”
The 12 throwers across the two qualifying groups cleared 20.90m.

5 October
The top three were separated by just 1cm in the men’s shot put final. Tom Walsh threw a new PB of 22.90m in his first round, which held him in first position until the final throw of 22.91m from the 2015 World Champion Joe Kovacs of the USA pushed him back to silver medal position. Olympic Champion Ryan Crouser (USA) was up next and threw 22.90m on his final attempt, equalling Toms best effort.

Tom was unable to better their throws in his final round and was awarded the bronze medal behind Crouser on count back. Throughout the competition four athletes bettered the previous World Championship record of 22m.
Described as the greatest shot put competition in history Walsh said he was happy with how he went about the competition.

“It’s tough to lose, because I hate losing. It was just an amazing comp to be part of. I’m very happy with how I threw and how I went about my comp and I wouldn’t change anything. I felt like I could have got a little bit more out there if I really nailed one properly but I didn’t and Joe and Ryan deserve it, “ said Walsh.
He added it left a bitter taste in not getting the gold medal.

“The first throw was bang on and all the rest of my throws were exactly what I was meant to be doing and I just didn’t quite nail one out of there a little bit further but I gave myself a good go at it. I’m really happy that I did that, it’s my best comp all year in terms of attacking every throw and doing actually pretty close to nailing exactly the intent but there’s a little bit of a bitter taste in the mouth with not quite getting the gold.

“It was a great atmosphere out there tonight and I do the sport to be challenged and challenge myself and I went into that last throw walking towards that and looking forward to and believing that I had what I needed to do it and I didn’t quite do it but I gave it a good nudge,” he added.
Ryan Crouser said that it was a battle.

“It was unbelievable competition for me I executed really well, pretty much to a tee for what I wanted. I wanted to open big and put the pressure on early and I did that with a 22.36m throw in round one and unfortunately the pressure kind of didn’t kind of work on Tom like I had hoped, seeing him throw 22.90m in the first round. Unbelievably well executed on his part. I then just continued to build and make sure I was in medal position. I had the third furthest throw of my life at 22.71m and luckily I had that to break the tie with Tom Walsh to win the tie breaker at 22.90m.

“I’m honoured to be here and really looking forward to Tokyo and especially 2021 and at this rate I think we’ll see the world record go down well before then.

“For every throw that’s out there right now, that 23 metre mark is the next big one that we haven’t got to yet, and looking at 23.12m we’re close tonight with three guys there and anytime you have that consistency it’s bound to happen just in an event where all it takes is one monster throw, Tom threw almost a 30cm PB tonight, Joe threw a 40cm PB almost tonight and I was up there as well. Another night like tonight, it doesn’t have to be three guys it can be just one but for all three of us now you see another 30cm PB you’re well over the world record,” said Crouser.

Jacko Gill was seventh, with a best throw of 21.45m, just 2cm off his PB. It was the third consecutive World Championships shot put final Tom and Jacko have competed in together.
Like Walsh Gill was looking to hit a big one.

“Pretty happy but I didn’t hit the one big throw today, so quite consistent but just didn’t get that one that went a bit further, there’s more there and it’s a good start and all in this for Tokyo.
“The competition just went off in the last round, there was really good energy out there and a great completion and awesome to be part of. To be in the top eight in the world and to be a part of that competition is something special but there’s more to come I don’t plan on leaving it there.

“I’ve improved my PB by half a metre this season so another half a metre could put me in with a chance for Tokyo, so I’ll just keep improving and keep going,” said Gill.

Camille Buscomb set another PB in the 5000m final, finishing 12th in 14:58.59. Buscomb has had an incredible World Championships, qualifying for the Tokyo Olympics in the 10,000m and 5000m and setting new personal best times in both events as well.

“I’m really pleased, I just wish I had probably had a bit more confidence to push it earlier on as I ended up chasing like five laps on my own. I was really happy with how strong I ran and to run another PB, a really cool awesome week,” said Buscomb.
She added that the New Zealand record of 14:45.93 is now in her sights.
“If I’d been with the pack in front of me I would have had a chance. I was a little bit tired going into the race so I didn’t want to do anything too drastic but as I wound into it I started feeling a bit better.
“I really happy with two 12th in both finishes, three PB’s it’s been an awesome week.”

Malcolm Hicks and Caden Shields were the final two New Zealand athletes to compete at the Championships. They competed in the marathon on the Cornich waterfront starting at midnight in 50 per cent humidity and 29 degrees.

Hicks finished 27th in 2:17:45 and Shields 30th in 2:18:08, both fantastic results for the conditions.

They both worked their way through the field, moving from 54th and 55th respectively at the halfway point to 34th and 37th at the 30km mark. The race winner Lelisa Desisa of Ethiopia finished in 2:10:40.
‘Oh wow’ was Hicks reaction on learning he had finished 27th.

Hicks said that they worked as a team during the race.

“The first group went out really quick and Caden and I ran a really conservative first half through about 69 minutes just together all the way and we felt really comfortable. Through the middle sections I was feeling really good and started clipping off some faster 5ks but got close to that last lap with 7ks to go and I was just battling cramp the whole way, so there were a few missed steps and few stumbles along the way but I still hung it together that last 7k. I’m really happy with the result, both of us ran a fantastic second half and just moved our way through the field, I don’t think anyone passed me in the second half. It was a good feeling clipping people off and watching them drop back.

“The amount of support we had on the course was phenomenal, I wasn’t expecting it in Doha. Fantastic support all the way from all the different nationalities. It was an amazing just to have two black singlets out there, the first time we’ve had a male marathoner at a championship for a while. We’re both really proud to be out there and hopefully it just continues and we get more black singlets on the start line in the future.

“The support we had from the Athletics New Zealand team with the pre-calling, the preparation the nutrition everything, the High Performance support team set us up perfectly,” said Hicks.
Shields said that he didn’t feel the heat.

“We ran together for the first half and Malcolm pulled away from me in the second half I couldn’t quite go with him but I was really happy with the way I ran I was only two and a half minutes off my PB which in these conditions is awesome. I really liked the way Malcolm and I worked together, we’ve been a good team the whole camp, including pre-camp. It’s just awesome to be out there with a good man and working together and representing New Zealand.

“I didn’t feel the heat the whole race I just focussed on fuelling and keeping a good rhythm and maintaining my form and running strong.”

Murray McKinnon
Athletics New Zealand Correspondent
0274 806086