31 August 2015
World Championships: Day 8 & 9 reviews – Wellings and Starc compete in finals
The last two days of competition at the IAAF World Championships were strong for NSW with athletes unexpectedly in finals.
Eloise Wellings (SUT) and Brandon Starc (PAR) were stunning with individually spectacular performances in the toughest competition outside of an Olympics. Annaliese Rubie, led her relay to a record breaking performance, marathoner Julia Degan made her international debut and two masters athletes competed amongst the world elite senior athletes.
Rain during the afternoon cleared for a great final night of competition. Brandon Starc (PAR) was the first Aussie up, competing in the high jump final, the first Aussie to make it this far in the event at the world championships for 18 years.
It was a tough start as he had to face up to his highest ever opening height of 2.20m which he cleared on his initial attempt.
“That was a massive relief,” Starc said who went on to clear 2.25m on his third attempt, before failing at 2.29m.
“I’d be lying if I didn’t say I was a bit disappointed. I got a lot of confidence two days ago. I haven’t had too many comps where I had to jump two days after.”
Starc was eventually placed 12th but fifth place cleared only the next height of 2.29m and medals were decided at 2.33m.
“If I had done a few things different I could have been five places better. I know I can mix it with them. I’ve come away with my goals accomplished.”
Also on evening, Elosie Wellings (SUT) was magnificent in the final of the 5000 metres, running even better than her terrific heat performance, three days prior.
The race started fast and almost immediately Wellings was in the second pack.
“It was difficult to watch them get a head but I have to trust they will come back to me. But this is the best way for me run.” Wellings said.
But late in the race, as she had hoped, the field did come back to her and Wellings finished on solidly to clock a magnificent 15:09.62 filling 10th place. The time was third fastest of her career, the fastest for nine years and a Rio Olympic qualifier.
On the penultimate day, Annelise Rubie (SYU) competed in the 4x400m relay heats, where the Australian team were tremendous. She started the team off with a 52.3 leg, before handing over to Jess Gulli.
“I felt good. I like the stagger in the 4x4 as you are further along than you think you are,” said Rubie. “I felt really relaxed. The crowd was crazy as we had China in our heat. Then I could see Jess at the finish line and I was trying to find something through all the lactic to get to her.”
The team ran magnificently clocking 3:28.61 for sixth in their heat. It was a 1.42 second pb, the fastest Australian time for 13 years, since the 2002 Commonwealth Games and moved this squad from 22nd to 15th on the Australian All Time list.
On Sunday morning, Julia Degan, made her international debut in the marathon and despite the hot and smoggy conditions, she clocked 2:49.26 to place 46th.
While on Saturday evening, two NSW masters athlete were in action in exhibition events. Julie Forster (NMA) and Gianna Mogentale (IBS) placed fourth and sixth respectively in the women’s 400m in times of 62.54 and 64.96.
“Words are failing my but I was thinking in the call room to stay relaxed,” Forster said. “The exciting thing is I bettered the time I ran in Lyon at the world masters championships where I got bronze and here I probably needed just another 10 metres to get the bronze.”
Gianna Mogentale looked noticeably nervous on the start line.
“I was really nervous as the last time I ran a 400m was in February, because I’ve had the issues with my achillies. I got out there and it was really over welcoming that big crowd.”
The athletes, along with Victorian masters half-miler Allan Cook, were welcomed as part of the Australian team.
“Being made to feel part of the Australian team was awesome,” said Mogentale. “I don’t think other countries were give that opportunity.”
David Tarbotton and Ron Bendall for Athletics NSW
Image: Brandon Starc (Getty Images)