25 August 2015
World Championships: Day 4 evening review – Lapierre surprises with silver
Hoping for a medal on day four of the IAAF World Championships in Beijing, Fabrice Lapierre (WES) surprised with silver in the long jump, while Dani Samuels (WES) was sixth in the discus and Annaliese Rubie (SYU) seventh in her 400m semi-final.
When he is ‘on’, anything can happen with Lapierre, and it did tonight in the famous Bird’s Nest stadium in Beijing. After an injury scare in the last warmup run he started tentatively with a foul and 7.85m. Sitting in eight he was in danger of missing the top-eight.
“I was a bit worried, my hamstring and glutes weren’t right in warm-up and I thought here we go again (with injury) in the final. My first jump wasn’t great, but I figured I needed one jump to make top-eight.
“Then I got 8.10m and I thought, you’re here once, you have to jump through the pain, go for it. My mentality changed. My adrenalin kicked in, and I was competing purely on that.”
He had moved up to fourth place, but progress was slowed with a foul in the fourth round. The event leader was training partner, Greg Rutherford in the US-based Dan Pfaff squad, while in second, third and fifth were three Chinese athlete who were receiving tremendous support from the Chinese.
Then Lapierre exploded in the fifth, hitting 8.20m and moving into second. But he was not done yet and in the fifth took a stranglehold on the silver with 8.24m. He survived the last attempts by two Chinese, winning Australia’s first medal at the 2015 World Championships. It was his 57th eight metre jump and it continues Australia’s great tradition in the event with a third medal in the last four Championships. Also we have achieved eight top-6 places.
“This is awesome. It’s a big relief more than anything. I was always thinking that I could come here and get a medal, but you know. I got my goal. I proved that I am back in the shape that I was,” Lapierre said.
Earlier in the evening, Dani Samuels placed sixth in the discus, her second best global championships result. She nailed her best of 63.14m in round four.
“To finish sixth, I think, is pretty good. I’m probably a little disappointed at the moment, but in a few days’ time it will be OK. The last throw felt good, it just fell apart at bit at the end,” Samuels said.
“It was a very high level competition. The Cuban girl came out and threw 69-and-a-half with her first throw. All in all, I feel like I have come a long way since Moscow, it’s my best result at the worlds other than when I won, so that’s a positive.”
Cuban Denia Caballero won gold with a massive 69.28m in the first round.
Also in action on the night was rapidly improving quarter-miler Annaliese Rubie, who was seventh in her heat in 52.04 – her second fastest ever time.
“It was a lot bigger out there tonight, that was exciting. It would have been a PB coming into the championships so I’m happy with that,” Rubie said.
Action continues tomorrow (Wednesday) with:
11:35 AEST 5000m heats Brett Robinson & Collis Birmingham
13:20 AEST 110m Hurdles heats Nick Hough
21:00 AEST Pole Vault Final Alana Boyd
21:15 AEST 200m heats Ella Nelson
For more information on the IAAF World Championships, please click here to visit iaaf.org.
For more information on the Australian Flame, including the team media guide, please click here to visit athletics.com.au.
For information about the Australian broadcast of the IAAF World Championships, please click here to visit athletics.com.au/broadcast.
David Tarbotton, Cody Lynch and Ron Bendall for Athletics NSW
Image: Fabrice Lapierre (image courtesy of David Tarbotton)