16 July 2018
Second silver for Carley Thomas at World U20s
After her world class silver medal winning performance in the 800m on day three of the IAAF World U20 Championships in Tampere, Finland, Carley Thomas (UTS Norths) returned to the track to join her team mates in the 4x400m relay and ran a storming anchor leg to bring Australia home for silver.
The team of Ella Connolly (QLD), Cara Jardine (QLD), Jemima Russell (VIC) and Thomas clocked the fabulous time of 3:31.36, second fastest in Australian junior history. Thomas was unofficially clocked at 51.4 on her leg of the 4x400m and took the team from fourth to second splitting sprint powerhouses America and Jamaica.
“I got to 300 and I was having a blast, but dying, but having a blast and I saw the Jamaican in front and I just kept going and going,” Thomas said.
For Thomas this was her second silver of the championships and Australia’s fifth medal of Tampere 2018.
Also, in relay action was Kristie Edwards (UTS Norths) on the 4x100m team. Due to event clashes in the heats they we unable to include 200m competitors, Riley Day (QLD) and Mia Gross (VIC), drafting hurdler Samantha Johnson (QLD) and long jumper Grace Brennan (ACT), but the team stood up, ran brilliantly in place fourth in their heat with a time of 45.26 and qualify for the final. On day five, Gross was available and replaced Brennan, as Edwards ran on the important second leg, considered the longest and where the fastest athlete is often placed.
In the final they again moved the baton around in slick fashion, placing seventh in the final, but with the sensational time of 44.78, breaking the national U20 record set 14 years ago by a team which included Sally Pearson. Her own coach, Melinda Gainsford-Taylor was a one-time own of this relay record, from the 1990 World U20 Championships.
Following his break through 100m run of 10.41 in a leadup meet in Finland, Joshua Azzopardi (CAM), was added to the individual 100m, where he placed 4th in his heat clocking 10.66. On day four he started the men’s 4x100m relay, running a very impressive leg. The form continued until the last change where in a good position to qualify for the final Australia didn’t make the last exchange.
Relatively new half-miler to the track scene, Lachlan Raper, ran a good 800m time of 1:50.23, but just found the going too tough to progress out of the heats, placing seventh. Returning to the international stage, after his debut in 2015 at the IAAF World Youth Championships, was javelin thrower Cameron McEntyre. In the qualifying rounds he threw solidly hitting 68.19m on his third attempt, but came up just under one metre short of progression to the final.
Read a wrap up of days one to three.
David Tarbotton for Athletics NSW
Image: Carley Thomas on the dais with her 4x400m relay team mates (image courtesy of Getty)