A contingent of NSW athletes are competing in the Good Luck Beijing China Athletics Open, the test event for the Beijing Olympic Games.
Caryn Brett and Bridie Goggins were the first Australians to contest an event held wholly within the 'Birds Nest' stadium which will be the focus of the world's attention for ten days during August. Brett finished the first event of the Heptathlon, the 100m Hurdles, in 15.74, whilst Goggins ran 16.84 seconds.
The first of four rounds of the 100m saw eight men from NSW take to the blocks. Clearly the most successful was Joshua Ross, who won his heat in 10.41 seconds. Ross' time was the second fastest of the nine heats, with ACTs Patrick Johnson recording the fastest time of 10.34s. The only other athlete to progress through to tonight's quarter finals was Australian under 23 silver medalist Robert Marks, who finished third in his heat in 10.72s.
Kevin Moore (10.95s) and Frankie Iorfino (11.12s) had the opportunity to compete against current Australian 100m champion Otis Gowa, who finished second in 10.65s behind China's Yuan Zhang, who clocked 10.58s.
Other sprinters in action were Matt Lynch (10.84s), Richard Haggie (11.10s), Robbie Baskin (11.10s) and Greg Jeloudev (11.28s).
Former north coast athlete Kurt Mulachy, now based at the AIS, breezed through his heat of the 400m, winning in 46.54s. James Nipperess spent the most time on the track, finishing seventh in his heat of the 1500m in 3:52.19, just outside his personal best of 3:52.00.
In the field former Westfield's athlete John Thornell had the disappointment of fouling three times during the qualifying round of the long jump. The leading jump was recorded by the Robbie Crowther from the AIS who leapt to 7.91m in still conditions.
Full results are available here.