22 July 2016
World U20s DAY THREE: Thornton misses medal by 0.002 seconds
Illawong club’s Jess Thornton came as close as you can without winning a medal today in a dramatic women’s 400 metres final at the IAAF Under-20 Championships being held in Bydgoszcz, Poland this week.
Thornton placed fourth in a new personal best time of 52.05 seconds and was given the same time as Jamaica’s Junelle Bromfield. The photo finish judges had to split them, with just 0.002 seconds being the margin. A viewing of the photo finish even shows Thornton seemingly with more torso in front. A protest by the Australian team management was dismissed.
It was the second consecutive personal best by Thornton who arrived at the meet with a best of 52.33, which she reduced to 52.12 in the semi. She moves up the Australian senior all time list moving from 29th to 24th. She remains in third on the U20 lust behind Cathy Freeman & Jana Pittman.
A thrilled coach Michael Dooley praised his charge.
“It was an outstanding performance from Jess to run two pbs in consecutive days. She is very excited with her absolutely amazing performances.”
After Thornton competes in the relays at the world juniors, she and coach Dooley will travel to Cologne for a few days, then on to Florida where the Australian Olympic team will assemble ahead of the Rio Games.
All rounder Alysha Burnett (CHE) sits in 10th place after day one of the heptathlon. She started very well with a personal best of 14.55 in the 100m hurdles. She cleared a solid 1.74m in the high jump, dipped a little in the shot with a distance of 12.55m, but closed the day with an impressive 200m of 25.80. She rests overnight with a score of 3318 points. Her strong day two could see her move into the top-8 tomorrow. Read a profile about her here.
In the morning session, Alex Hulley (HIL) had no trouble progressing into the women’s hammer throw final as the fourth placed athlete. Competing in group B, she started nervously with a throw of 55.05m, but in round two nailed a distance 62.65m, exceeding the automatic standard of 61.50m.
Australia’s second medal at the championships was won by Kirsty Williams in the discus with a throw of 53.91m. Williams, who lives on the NSW north coast now competes for Queensland.
In the men’s pole vault qualifying, Angus Armstrong (ASW) unfortunately missed qualifying for the final. He cleared 5.10m on his first attempt but failed with his three attempts at 5.20m, a height which would have secured a finals berth.
Day Four – NSW competitors
Heptathlon day two – Alysha Burnett (read a profile about her here)
Javelin Throw qualifying – Matt Rees
4x100m relay heats women – Sam Geddes, Kyla King, Bella O’Grady
4x100m relay heats men – Nick Andrews
1500m heats – Amy Harding-Delooze
3000m Steeplechase final – Georgia Winkcup, Beth Croft
Australian All Time List – U20 Women 400m
51.14 Cathy FREEMAN V 28.06.92
51.74 Jana PITTMAN N 08.12.01
52.05 Jessica THORNTON N 20.07.16
52.23 Susan ANDREWS T 10.08.90
52.30 Lee NAYLOR V 26.10.89
52.41 Michelle BAUMGARTNER V 24.01.81
52.72 Jaimee-Lee HOEGBERGEN N 26.11.05
52.80 Renee POETSCHKA W 01.04.90
52.83 Tania VAN HEER S 01.02.89
52.83 Rosemary HAYWARD N 21.03.98
David Tarbotton and Ron Bendall for Athletics NSW
Image: Photo finish women’s 400m with Jess Thornton (Getty Images)