Melbourne, Australia Henry Frayne will fly to Istanbul for the IAAF World Indoor Championships (9-11 March) with two things on his mind – the Triple Jump and the long jump. By the time he touches down, he will know which event he is going to do.
Frayne’s outstanding season continued on the first night of the Australian Olympic trials as he took the Triple Jump with a 17.23 metres leap, a personal best by 14cm and, more importantly, an Olympic A-standard. Under Australia’s selection policy, an A-standard win at the trials guarantees selection for London.
Frayne is also qualified in the Long Jump, having leapt 8.27m in Sydney a fortnight ago. He will compete in that event in the second day of the trials, which is also the IAAF World Challenge series meeting.
The 21-year-old Frayne has come on in hops, steps and jumps this year. He made the final of the triple jump at the IAAF World Championships, finishing ninth, but he has gone to a new level of performance in the domestic season.
Frayne is entered in both the Long Jump and Triple Jump for Istanbul. One thing he knows is that he won’t do both.
It is the same with the Olympics. Two weeks ago, he was a triple jumper. Now, he is assessing his prospects in the long jump as well.
“I think 8.27 is probably at a stronger world level than 17.23,” he said. “If you can get it up over 8.30 you’re probably in medal contention, whereas 17.30 (in the triple) – you’re probably looking at about fifth, sixth or seventh.”
“I like to focus on my Triple Jump first, then do the Long Jump,” Frayne said. “I don’t know how that will work at the Olympic Games because the long jump is first.”
Some would say it would be nice to have the choice.
Kiprop’s Australian curse returns
Asbel Kiprop wins all over the world, but for the third year in a row he was defeated in the 1500 metres in Melbourne.
Having opened his Australian winning account in the 800 in Sydney, Kiprop looked likely to shuck off the curse completely when he led the 1500 after pacemaker Andrew Rotcih dropped out at 800. But the World and Olympic champion had no response when first Jeff Riseley, then David Torrence and Ryan Gregson moved past him just after the bell.
In the end, it was a delighted Gregson who moved into the lead up the final straight to win in 3:38.51. Torrence was second (3:39.32) and New Zealand’s Nick Willis rattled home for third (3:39.77).
Riseley faded to fourth with Kiprop coming in fifth in 3:42.52.
Gregson, who had not been sure of running until a few days before the meeting after a calf injury sustained in Hobart last month, broke out a snappy dance move after crossing the line.
“I wasn’t sure how I’d come up,” he said. “I felt confident with about 550 to go when I was still there.”
The 1500 is part of the IWC meeting, but was brought forward to the first night because some athletes, Riseley included, want to double.
Riseley needs only to be first Australian in the 800, as he has bettered the Olympic standard twice.
“I’m coming back to do the 800,” he replied to the ‘what next’ question, “and I hope I go a bit better than today.”
Pearson finds the head-wind again
The tail-wind that was Henry Frayne’s friend in the back-straight of Lakeside stadium was once again the bane of Sally Pearson’s life in the front-straight. Well, the bane of her sprinting life anyway, otherwise things are going pretty nicely for the World 100 metres Hurdles champion.
Pearson handled Melissa Breen and her other domestic rivals pretty easily in the 100 metres, winning in 11.67 into a 2.3 metres per second wind. Breen was second in 11.91 with Toea Wisil of Papua New Guinea third in 12.04.
Pearson will double up at the hurdles and 200 on IWC challenge night. She has been bedevilled by headwinds in almost every race this season but was philosophical about it.
“You just have to get out and do it,” Pearson said. She is.
Brendan Cole was an elated winner of the men’s 400 metres hurdles, his 49.39-seconds performance guaranteeing him a place in the London Olympic team.
Tamsyn Manou won the women’s 800 in 2:02.64 after going through the 400 metres in just over 58 seconds. The 2008 World Indoor champion said she now knows the task ahead of her if she is to make a fourth Olympic team.
“I won the trial, I know where I’m going. I’ve just got to chase the time down now.”
Len Johnson for the IAAF