FOLLOWING LONDON 2017, WE LOOK FORWARD TO GOLD COAST 2018…
The London 2017 IAAF World Championships have come to a close, ending in brilliant style for Australia with gold to Sally Pearson and silver to Dani Stevens.
During an eventful 10 days of competition, Australian’s performed admirably, with many making finals and securing personal bests.
As we look ahead to the Gold Coast 2108 Commonwealth Games, here’s five things we learned from the 10 days in London…
ALL EYES ON SALLY
Following her golden comeback to international competition, all eyes will be on Sally Pearson’s quest for a third consecutive Commonwealth Games 100m hurdles gold medal. At a home games, in her hometown, expect an incredible build up to Pearson’s race.
Australia has a rich history in the marathon at Commonwealth Games – think Deek in 1982, Mona in 1994, Kerryn McCann going back to back in Melbourne 2006 – and hopes will be high for Jess Trengove following a brilliant showing in London. Trengove finished ninth, becoming the first Australian woman to post a top 10 finish in the marathon at the World Championships. Already a Commonwealth Games bronze medallist from Glasgow 2014, Trengove looks on the right track for GC2018.
Thrower Dani Stevens is already a veteran of two Commonwealth Games, winning gold in Glasgow 2014 and bronze at a home games in Melbourne 2006. The 29-year old looks on track to add to her medal haul off the back an incredible performance in London, throwing 69.64m and new Australian record to claim silver. That World Championships throw is some five metres further than her gold medal throw at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.
Look out for Kurtis Marschall. In 2006 it was Steve Hooker who leapt to glory in the men’s pole vault in front of a packed MCG to claim gold at age 24. At GC2018, it could well be 20- year old Kurtis Marschall, who beat all in the Commonwealth to finish seventh at the World Championships in London with a leap of 5.65m. Hooker won back to back pole vault gold at the Commonwealth Games with vault’s of 5.80m (Melbourne 2006) and 5.60m (Dheli 2010).
JUMPING FOR JOY
Jumping for joy was Brooke Stratton following her sixth placing in the long jump – the best ever finish from an Australian female in the long jump at World Championship level. The 24-year-old from Melbourne surprised herself with the result coming off a limited preparation and will be a force to reckoned with on the Gold Coast. Speaking about her performance to News Limited’s Scott Gullan, Stratton suspected the home crowd on the Gold Coast would help her deliver even longer jumps than her 6.67m effort in London. We hope she is right…
AND THE REST…
London 2017 saw the end of the Usain Bolt era of athletics. And though it wasn’t the fairy-tale ending that everyone would have loved…what an era it has been. With world athletics’ biggest star ending his career, the question becomes who may rise in his absence? There will never be another Bolt, but in London, new stars did emerge, none more so than South African Wayde Van Niekerk who won the 400m in devastating fashion, before falling just short of the 400/200m double, with silver in the 200m. Van Niekerk is already a Commonwealth Games silver medallist from Glasgow 2014, but has since become Olympic Champion and world record holder in the 400m. Not seen in London due to injury was exciting Canadian sprinter Andre de Grasse who posted a blistering – but wind assisted – 9.69s for the 100m at a Diamond League meeting earlier in 2017. In a recent interview, de Grasse’s coach Stuart McMillan suggested the 22-year-old Canadian would now set his sights on the Commonwealth Games. Both Van Niekerk and de Grasse would add enormous interest to the GC2018 athletics program.