14 July 2019
Four more medals for NSW on day six of the World University Games.
The last three days of the 30th World University Games in Naples were busy but successful for NSW athletes. Four athletes claimed relays medals, to add to the silver Alex Diamond’s won in the decathlon on day three of the Games.
Illawong hurdler Abbie Taddeo had a tremendous Games. She negotiated the heat, semi and final of the 100m hurdles placing eight in the final clocking a best of 13.42 in the semi. She then joined a crack Australian women’s 4x100m that won silver in the final in a quick 43.97.
NSW athletes dominated the women’s 4x400m relay team. Gen Cowie (SYU), Jess Stafford (SYU) and Bella O’Grady (UTN) were joined by Victorian Morgan Mitchell in the 4x400m relay.
Cowie had made the 400m hurdles, while O’Grady the 400m final and was in the form of her career. O’Grady put the team on the podium with a terrific anchor, after taking the baton in fifth, she gradually brought the team up to third, holding off two other teams on the line. After a solid heat time of 3:34.51, they went quicker in the final with 3:34.01.
On the sixth and last day of competition, two NSW athletes came close to medals, placing fourth. A heptathlon silver medallist in 2017, Alysha Burnett (CHE) was fourth in the high jump with a clearance of 1.88m. She had passed her last attempt at 1.91m, to have a shot at a PB of 1.94m and hopefully a medal. In the men’s half marathon, Ed Goddard who had had a hampered season with illness and was still not back to 100% endured the Italian heat to clock 66:20 minutes. After initially placing sixth he was elevated to fourth with the disqualification of two Chinese athletes.
In the 3000m steeplechase, national and Oceania champion Paige Campbell placed seventh in 10:03.63. There were some good performances in the 110m hurdles from Cherrybrook training partners Nick Andrews and Jacob McCorry. Andrews ran a sensational 13.76 (0.3) in the heat, a PB which moved him to number 10 in Australian history. It was also his fifth PB in 2019 and has brought his 2017 PB of 14.30 down 0.54 seconds. He ran 13.86 in the semi just missing the final. McCorry clocked 14.10 (-0.9) in the heat before clocking an improved 13.93 (-0.6) in his semi.
Another set of training partners, also both in the same club – UTS Norths, Mason Cohen and Jye Perrott progressed to the 800m semi-finals. Cohen clocked a best of 1:49.98, while Perrott was a little faster with 1:49.49 and just missing a finals berth by two places. Both athletes made significant gains in 2019. Cohen brought his 800m PB down over half a second to win bronze at the nationals. Perrott, the early season leader domestically, stumbled at the nationals with a difficult heat progression scenario. He then was injured post summer, but the faith selectors showed in him was repaid with a very promising performance in Naples.
A couple of hours after their 800m semis, Cohen an Perrott, joined 100m competitor Zach Holdsworth (ILL) and Sean Fitzsimmons (UTN) in the 4x400m relay heat which clocked 3:11.23.
David Tarbotton for Athletics NSW
Images: Gen Cowie, Jess Stafford, Bella O’Grady and Morgan Mitchell in the 4x400m relay.