VIS race walkers Rhydian Cowley and Regan Lamble have been added to the 2016 Australian Olympic Team to compete in the 20km walk in Rio.
Rio will be Cowley’s debut Olympic Games, while Lamble is set to build on her London experience.
Lamble was outstanding on Olympic debut four years ago, placing 16th. After a year out from the sport she is back producing big personal bests and is aiming high for Rio. She was recently 12th at the Race Walking Team World Championships in Rome and moved to third fastest Australian in history (1:29.33).
Cowley has been superb to force his way onto a strong men’s team. He was spurred on by missing the 2015 World Championship team by one spot, fighting hard to secure his place on the start line in Brazil.
In other Track & Field news…
IAAF Diamond League (Round 5) – Rome (Italy)
Ryan Gregson was the sole VIS representative in Rome where he continued his sensational form of 2016, placing fifth in a season’s best 3:34.27 in the 1500m. A tactically well run race by Gregson paid dividends when it mattered, sitting back early missing the hustle and bustle and executing his trademark kick with 200m remaining. Gregson hit the lead as he came into the final straight before Elijah Manangoi (KEN, 3:33.96) pushed past and claimed victory.
“My confidence is building, but I also know there’s still a long way to go until the Olympics and they don’t hand out medals in June,” Gregson said.
The Australian record holder isn’t content just yet. “My goal has always been to make the Olympic 1500m final. It’s a very competitive event right now, I could run this well and still miss out. If can hold this form, though, I’m giving myself the best possible chance.”
North Queensland All-Comers – Townsville (Qld)
Seven time Paralympian Russell Short staked his claim for his eighth Paralympics team over the weekend, posting a Shot Put A qualifier of 15.13m.
Returning from injury Madeleine Hogan has made a strong start to her season throwing a Javelin B qualifier of 34.35m. Hogan will seek to nudge the A qualifier of 38.73m in the coming weeks.
Joel Baden won the men’s high jump with a leap of 2.21m which was just shy of his season best 2.24m.
11th Meeting Iberamericano Altetismo – Huelva (Spain)
A Rio qualifier is already next to her name but Zoe Buckman is trying to find her 2015 form as she hunts Olympic selection in the ever so competitive 1500m. Buckman placed fifth over 1500m in 4:12.77.
IAAF Diamond League (Round 6) - Birmingham (GBR)
VIS 400m specialist Morgan Mitchell has run an outstanding race from lane 8 to slice half a second off her personal best and finish third, ahead of 2008 Olympic gold medallist Christine Ohuruogu.
Mitchell dug deep in the home straight to run 51.25 over the 400m which moves her from 20th to 8th on the Australian all-time rankings.
“I am so happy. That felt amazing. Fitz (coach Peter Fitzgerald) and I knew it was going to happen and it was just a matter of when. The atmosphere was incredible and the officials made me feel so at ease which took away all my nerves,” Mitchell said.
Backing up from Rome only a matter of days earlier, Ryan Gregson toed the line in the 1500m among a classy field. Gregson again sustained his consistent form placing sixth in 3:35.50.
VIS steeplechaser Genevieve LaCaze line up in the 5000m as she strives for another Rio qualifier. LaCaze put together a mature race with fellow Australian Eloise Wellings (NSW) against the durable African contingent, placing sixth in a 14 second personal best of 15:27.13, only 3 seconds shy of the Rio qualifying mark.
Rio bound javelin thrower Kathryn Mitchell again made her way onto the podium with her best mark of 63.92m in round four. Her series also included marks of 59.86m, 63.61m, 62.53m, 63.92m and a foul.
Rio selected Brett Robinson stepped down from the 10000m to race over the 3000m distance finishing 11th in 8:11.01.