On a night that boasted seven Olympic qualifying performances, VIS athletes had three at the IAAF Melbourne World Challenge. 

Genevieve LaCaze began the night with a second place in the women’s 3000m steeplechase, in her maiden run of the season, staking her claim for Rio with a qualifying time of 9:43.93.

Morgan Mitchell came from behind in the women’s 400m to win in 52.16, her third Rio qualifier this year.

“I wasn’t super nervous coming out here. I just relaxed and tried to chase them down in the last one hundred. That’s what I did, and I am really happy,” Mitchell said.

Returning from injury Kathryn Mitchell launched an Olympic qualifier of 64.37m in the final round of the javelin competition.  Her series also included throws of 60.33m, 60.55m, 57.62m, 59.97m and a foul.

Throwing duo Damien Birkinhead and Todd Hodgetts placed second and fifth in the men’s shot put respectively. Birkinhead was just shy of another Rio mark at 20.16m while Hodgetts threw 15.16m.

In far from ideal conditions for middle distance running, Ryan Gregson claimed victory in the men’s 1500m in a time of 3:38.06, etching his third victory of the season to date.

Richard Colman continued his wheelchair dominance crossing the line in first place in the 100m.

Rhydian Cowley and Chris Erickson toed the line together in the 5000m Walk, with performances of 19:26.76 and 20:24.58 respectively.

In a stacked 800m field hosting world record holder David Rudisha, Alex Rowe improved on his performance in Adelaide a few weeks ago with a fifth place and a time of 1:47.48.

Melissa Duncan placed sixth in a tactical women’s 1500m with fellow VIS athlete Zoe Buckman right behind her in seventh position.

Brett Robinson closed the night’s proceedings with a victory in the 5000m in a time of 13:33.13.


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