Samuels Impresses

Dani Samuels (NSW) has shown impressive form to win the women’s discus throw at the 90th Australian Athletics Championships today, as competition concluded at Lakeside Stadium.

Samuels, the 2009 world champion, won her seventh consecutive national crown with an outstanding 62.34m heave, from Kim Mulhall (Vic, second, 56.02m) and Alifatou Djibril (SA, third, 52.74m).

Bettering the Athletics Australia standard for the Olympic Games (62.00m) for the first time since the Diamond League in Birmingham last July, Samuels’ performance is her best since May 2010 and falls just 30 centimetres shy of her furthest domestic throw in the year she won her world crown.

Samuels’ series today was consistent, with 61.67m in the opening round before 61.95m, a foul, 62.34m, 59.99m and 58.34m to close. She has this weekend, also, won the women’s shot put with a 16.65m best mark.

Samuels said: “I’m really happy, you always want a touch further in these conditions, but to get out there and hit the Olympic mark is a big boost.

“The validation of seeing the mark on the board makes all my hard work and progress worth it, I’ve been creeping up with my distances across the season and the confidence it gives me heading into the Shanghai Diamond League where the big girls come out to play is fantastic.

“My consistency today was pretty good too, there were realistically three auto qualifiers for the Olympic final in my series, and that’s another bonus that I can take away from today.

“I’ve been throwing the shot put, which is something I have done in the past to find lift in my discus throw, and it has been a big help. I entered on a whim at state champs, did well there, and now have continued it in my program.”

In other highlights on the third day of the championships:

  • Kaila McKnight (Vic) clocked 4:18.02 to add the 1500m gold medal to her 5000m crown on Friday evening.  The 2011 IAAF world championships representative McKnight only just edged out silver medallist Bridey Delaney (NSW, 4:18.26), as Camille Buscomb (NZL, 4:22.98) won bronze.
  • The women’s long jump was won by Kerrie Perkins (ACT) after a wind assisted 6.70m (w: +3.1) leap, with Perkins stealing the gold from Brooke Stratton (Vic, 6.56m) on the very last jump.
  • Brydee Moore (Vic, 12.78m) won the women’s secured javelin throw to total three gold medals at these championships.
  • The ambulant 200m women’s race was won by intellectually disabled athlete Stephanie Schweitzer (NSW) in 26.70 (w: -0.7).
  • Angela Ballard (NSW, 2:08.25) was crowned Australian wheelchair 800m champion.
  • Rosemary Little (NSW, 38.95) added to her world record performance win in the wheelchair 100m yesterday with gold across the 200m today.

Courtesy of Athletics Australia