30 August 2017
NSW’s multi tradition continues in Taipei
NSW’s great tradition continued at the World University Games, continued at the 2017 edition in Taipei this week, as Kyle Cranston won gold in the decathlon and Alysha Burnett silver in the heptathlon. They followed in the footsteps of Jane Jamieson who twice won the heptathlon and added a third medal - a silver.
Competing at the Taipei Stadium in Taiwan, Kyle Cranston won Australia’s first in-stadium gold medal at the World University Games for six years, since Lachlan Renshaw won the 800m in Shenzhen, China. The self-coached Cranston closed strongly, highlighted by an equal pole vault PB of 4.60m to score 7687 points, just outside his lifetime best.
“It’s comforting to know that I can perform at this level, this late in our season – it’s very hard event to event – you need to stay positive and I was able to do that,” Cranston told Athletics Australia.
Historically and geographically, Sydney’s northern suburbs has owned the heptathlon. The fourth medal has been won by an athlete over the last 22 years. First three from Jane Jamieson and now Alysha Burnett’s, magnificent silver this week. She tallied a personal best total of 5835 to claim the silver medal. Her competition included two personal bests, 2:27.45 in the 800m and an outstanding 1.86m in the high jump. It was been a tremendous year for Burnett with three scores over 5800, after starting the year with a best of 5547. She also moved up one place, to 11th on the Australian All Time List. It was the highest score by an Australian for nine years.
“I was good at most of the events – I was always doing as many individual events through the season and I finally put it all together one day,” Burnett told Athletics Australia.
“Very tired, very sore, a bit stiff but did the job so couldn't ask for anything more. It’s been a very long season. My body has been on it’s last legs – literally – for a while. I’m definitely not going to do another hep next week… or for the next few months.”
NSW country’s Paige Campbell placed a close fourth in the 3000m steeplechase in a PB time of 10:00.15, elevating her to tenth in the Australian All Time List. In very wet conditions in the pole vault, Angus Armstrong missed a medal by just one height, clearing 5.30m, needing 5.40m to stand on the podium. Reinstated to the semi-final after a disqualification, Nick Hough, placed fifth in the 110m hurdles final, at his third Universiade – his best individual place at the Games.
After a late-call up to the world championships team en route to Tapei, Central Coast’s Nicola McDermott, cleared an excellent, near PB of 1.88m to placed seventh.
Three NSW athletes (Larissa Pasternasky, Jasmine Everett and Bella O’Grady) combined to place sixth in the final of the 4x100m in a time of 45.15. While an all NSW line up of (O’Grady, Alicia Keir, Alex Bartholomew and Jess Stafford) were sixth in the 4x400m relay in 3:41.08. Michelle Jenneke also claimed eighth in the final of the 100m hurdles.
Ron Bendall and David Tarbotton for Athletics NSW
Images: decathlete Kyle Cranston