Written by Bob Snow, OAA Life Member
3RD OCEANIA CUP #1 – Runaway Bay, Gold Coast – 5th June 2021
Competition was held on 5th June 2021.
There were three competing teams – Australia U20, New Zealand and Oceania Select. In addition to those striving for points in the cup, there were many top senior athletes from Australia and New Zealand hoping for an improvement in their world rankings, or (even better) a qualifying performance.
The outstanding individual performance was from Australia’s Peter Bol, who finished within the 800m qualifying time with a perfectly judged race in 1:44.88, bettering the tough qualifying standard of 1:45.20. The pacemakers did an excellent job.
Eddie Osei-Nketia from New Zealand won a fiercely contested 100m race in the time of 10.26 seconds. He scored 1118 points for his national team.
In the Women’s 100m, Australia’s Hana Basic recorded the time of 11.14 seconds – under the Olympic Qualifying standard, but with a wind reading of +2.4 mps. She still has a few weeks left to go. Hana is clearly Australia’s #1 female sprinter. Second in the Women’s 100m was New Zealand’s Zoe Hobbs in the time of 11.31 seconds (1133) points.
The other Team NZL athlete with points over 1100 was Maddison-Lee Wesche, who threw the 4.0kg shot 18.40m, only 10cms short of the Olympic Qualifying mark of 18.50m. At the time of writing Maddison is ranked 22nd in the world on the World Athletics Ranking system. She is close to joining Dame Valerie Adams on the New Zealand Team to Tokyo.
Only two Pacific Island athletes were able to compete – Rellie Kaputin (PNG – Long Jump) and Lataisi Mwea (KIR – 100m) and they continued to stake their claim to a position on their respective National Olympic Team. Rellie improved her yearly best with a jump of 6.28m, and Lataisi was timed at 11.27 in his heat of the 100m. We hope to have more Islanders in the next stage of the Oceania Cup, if quarantine regulations have been met.
The high scorers in the Australian U20 Team were Taylah Cruttenden (100m – 11.49 – 1095 points), Torrie Lewis (100m – 11.56 – 1081 points) and Ellie Beer (400m – 53.35 – 1075 points).
Other non-scoring athletes at the meet, who performed very well (above 1100 scoring points) were –
- Hannah Jones (AUS) 12.91 (+0.5) in the 100m Hurdles
- Brianna Beahan (AUS) 13.10 (+0.5) in the 100m Hurdles
- Celeste Mucci (AUS) 13.23 (+0.5) in the 100m Hurdles
- Abbie Tadeo (AUS) 13.35 (+0.5) in the 100m Hurdles
- Cara Feain-Ryan (AUS) 9:44.40 in the 3000m Steeplechase
- Annie McGuire (AUS) 6.42m (+0.4) in the Long Jump
- Jake Penny (AUS) 10.28 (+1.8) in the 100m
- Zoe Hobbs (NZL) 11.31 (+2.4) in the 100m
- Chris Douglas (AUS) 50.56 in the 400m Hurdles
- Australia Men’s 4 x 100m 39.02 (Doran, Hartmann, Hale, Penny)
- Australia B Women’s 4 x 100m 44.30 (Quirk, Fighera, Owusu-Afriyie, Anang)
- Kathyrn Mitchell (AUS) 61.67m in the Javelin
The day before the Runaway Bay competition, Pole Vault and Discus competitions were held in Brisbane at QSAC. The outstanding performances there were from Australia’s Dani Stevens (62.69) and Matthew Denny (62.65) in their respective Discus events.
Australia (U20) 1009 points
New Zealand 997 points
Oceania Select 977 points.
3RD OCEANIA CUP #2 – Runaway Bay, Gold Coast – 12th June 2021
Like the first Oceania Cup meet the week before, some of the field events took place at QE II Stadium in Brisbane the day before. The highlight was the 5.70m pole vault by Kurtis Marschall. With the world’s 6th best jump of 2021 (5.80m in Perth in January) he has his bags already packed for the Olympics.
The main meet took place at Runaway Bay with conditions perfect for competition. Up first were the 4 x 100m relays. The Australian Women’s Team ran the nation’s second fastest time – 43.11 seconds (Cruttenden, Masters, Day, Basic). At the time of writing, it was the third fastest national team in the world for 2021 but so many of the positions for Tokyo have already been taken by performances in Doha and Silesia. We hope that they can run a faster time in their next outing and make it to Tokyo.
So close again, but not far enough. Maddison-Lee Wesche (NZL) is closing in on the Olympic Qualifying of 18.50m with another great throw of 18.47m. She is currently ranked 23rd in the world. One step closer to Tokyo.
The Australian Mixed 4 x 400m set an Oceania Area Record, of 3:17.00, but were still just short of Olympic Qualifying. It was, however, a new Oceania Area Record. See how they go in Townsville next week. (The team was Oboya, Rubie-Renshaw, Gunn, Beck).
Peter Bol (AUS) ran the fastest 800m by an Australian on home soil with a great run of 1:44.62. Again, a superbly timed race with intelligent pace setting. Well done Peter – and team.
Matthew Denny (AUS) got a significant personal best in the Discus with a throw of 66.15m above the Olympic Qualifying mark of 66.00m. Matt was jubilant. He had qualified through the World Athletics Rankings system, but it is good to also better the qualifying mark.
Those who saw Nicola McDermott in action at the Australian Nationals were not surprised to see her once again equal the qualifying mark for the High Jump – 1.96m. She had three good attempts at 2.00m. On the World Athletics’ Top Lists, Nicola is currently ranked #2 for 2021.
Javelin thrower, Kathryn Mitchell threw 63.50m to edge up the World Rankings. She is currently ranked 26th. On the top lists, however, Kathryn has the 12th best throw of 2021. This good Runaway Bay effort will certainly boost her world ranking when it is published later this week.
The high scoring athletes from New Zealand and Australia (U20) were –
- Connor Bell (NZL) – DT – 63.99m – 1134 points
- Maddison Wesche (NZL) – SP – 18.47m – 1112 points
- Jaylah Hancock-Cameron (AUS) – 1500m – 4:12.42 – 1108 points
- Tomysha Clark (AUS) – LJ – 6.49m – 1106 points
- Taylah Cruttenden (AUS) – 100m – 11.46 – 1102 points
- Claudia Hollinsworth (AUS) – 800m – 2:04.05 – 1091 points
- Amy Bunnage (AUS) – 1500m – 4:14.62 – 1091 points.
- Edward Osei-Nketia (NZL) – 100m – 10.35 – 1089 points
Non-scoring AUS & NZL athletes who excelled on the day were –
- Riley Day (AUS) 100m 10.18 (+2.7)
- Hana Basic (AUS) 100m 10.20 (+2.7)
- Zoe Hobbs (NZL) 100m 11.27 (+2.7)
- Abbey Caldwell (AUS) 1500m 4:09.22
- Jenny Blundell (AUS) 5000m 15:28.16
- Caitlin Adams (AUS) 5000m 15:29.00
- Hannah Jones (AUS) 100mH 12.97
- Portia Bing (NZL) 400mH 56.37
- Jack Hale (AUS) 100m 10.22 (+3.0)
- James Preston (NZL) 800m 1:46.52
- Brad Mathas (NZL) 800m 1:46.65
- Australia Men’s 4 x 100m 38.98 (Doran, Greig, Hale, Penny)
We were very lucky to see so many quality athletes, and excellent performances, so close to the Tokyo selection deadline. All the best to those who go to Townsville (19th June) for one more attempt to become an Olympian. All of the other athletes, enjoy the off-season and build-up your strength, stamina and speed for the 2021-2022 season.
The Oceania Cup competition came down to the wire. Australia was a narrow winner on 5th June, and this time the margin was even less.
Two-day totals for the Oceania Cup were –
Day One (5th June)
New Zealand 997
Oceania Select 977
Day Two (12th June)
Australia 1021 points
New Zealand 1020 points
Oceania Select 973 points
New Zealand 2017
Oceania Select 1950
To conclude, a big thank you to the Oceania Athletics group, working with Queensland Athletics, Athletics Australia, Athletics New Zealand and a whole army of volunteers. The behind-the-scenes glimpses show how much time and effort goes into staging such a quality meet. The sport is lucky to have so many dedicated people willing to give so much of their time for the sport they love.
Full results for both days’ competition can be found below.