The Porritt Classic in Hamilton is one of New Zealand’s more traditional and long-standing meetings. Held at the picturesque Porritt Stadium, in Hamilton in the middle of the North Island.
Last year’s meeting saw Julia Ratcliffe break the Oceania Hammer Throw Record, a record she already held, after first breaking in Townsville at the Area Championships in 2019. Since then, it has changed hands to Lauren Bruce, and the two now have a healthy competition and will be on show as one of the main head-to-head match ups of this year’s Porritt Classic.
A traditional feature of the Porritt Classic has always been the hurdle races. In the 400m Hurdles, both National Record Holders will feature prominently with Portia Bing and Cameron French both showing very good early season form and be hoping for another fast time.
The 5000m races have been scheduled for the Friday evening, to ensure the best conditions possible for running. Camille Buscomb has been racing over shorter distances and will now be looking forward to returning to her preferred distance of 5000m. She already has the Olympic Standard from the Doha World Championships, which apart from her 15.28 in a mixed race at the Night of 5’s was her last 5000m race.
The Men’s 5000m, will see Hamish Carson, Eric Speakman and Oli Chignell pushing the pace. Speakman and Chignell both have personal best well under 14 minutes, and Carson will be hoping to break 14 minutes for the first time.
The Women’s sprints have certainly been a highlight this season in New Zealand. The women’s 4x100m has had a lot of success with a Bronze Medal at the 2019 World University Games, then a breaking the National Record in Canberra in early 2020.
The National Champion, Zoe Hobbs, suffered a rare loss last weekend over 200m in Christchurch, and will be looking for some redemption, however she will be facing a similar field to what she faced at the ITM. Georgia Hulls, the NZ U20 Record Holder over 200m, won last week, and the 200m looks to be Hulls preferred distance and will be hard to beat in Porritt.
Just like the Women’s 200m, the Men’s 200m will be another rematch from ITM last weekend. Eddie Osei-Nketia and Tiaan Whelpton have had a strong head-to-head all seasons, and this weeks edition in Hamilton should be no different.
In the Field action, Tori Peeters and Ben Langton-Burnell headline the Javelin. Peeters has thrown twice in 2021, winning at both Cooks and Potts Classic, but will be aiming for the 64.00m automatic qualifying mark for Tokyo which is within her grasp as her PB and NR is 62.04m.
Elsewhere in the field, the Men’s and Women’s Shot Put will provide another two-great head-to-head matchup. Dame Valerie Adams threw impressively last week with a first-round throw of 18.41 and will face World U20 Champion Madison Lee-Wesche. In the Men’s Tom Walsh and Jacko Gil go head-to-head once again. Walsh has lost three competitions in a row since 2015, and if Gil wins in Hamilton, that will be the case.