27 FEB 2004 General News 27 February 2004 – Sydney, Australia

Johnson takes national 10,000m title and books berth to Athens - Australian Championships Day Two

Benita Johnson leads Haley McGregor in the women's 10000m final (Getty Images)Benita Johnson leads Haley McGregor in the women's 10000m final (Getty Images) © Copyright

Sydney, AustraliaA fine 31:49.97 clocking by Benita Johnson which won the women’s 10,000m, and two fine 1500m battles were the main attractions on the second day of the national championships which are serving as the Telstra Olympic Team Athletics Trials.

Benita Johnson is the first Australian on the plane to Athens, after achieving the automatic qualification time when winning her first national title over 10,000 metres, in the Olympic B qualifying time of 31:49.97, having already achieving the A standard at the World Championships in Paris last year, where she finished in an Oceania area record of 30:37.68.

Finishing behind Johnson today were Haley McGregor in second (32:20.49) and Jackie Gallagher in third (33:40.05).

Tight 1500m finals

As expected the men’s and women’s 1500 metre finals were tight battles to the end. In the women’s race, Sarah Jamieson took her second national title out-sprinting Georgie Clarke on the final straight to win in 4:11.22, with Clarke second in 4:11.64 and Lisa Corrigan third (4:12.55).

In the men’s event, it was a tussle to the finish between eventual winner Youcef Abdi and Alastair Stevenson. Commonwealth bronze medallist Abdi clocked 3:38.43, with Stevenson second in 3:38.78, and Michael Shelley adrift in third but also under 3:40 (3:39.90). 

Smith comfortably heads of Fiji's record holder

Annabelle Smith took the women’s 400m in 51.80, ahead of Fiji’s 26 year-old national record holder Makeles Bulikiobo who was over a second back in 52.91. Katerina Dressler was third in 53.03 and Rosemary Hayward fourth in 53.07.

World University Games Champion Kylie Wheeler easily won her second national championship in the Heptathlon, with 5790 points. Commonwealth Games silver medallist in the Decathlon, Matt McEwen claimed his third national championship with 7600.

The men’s Discus final was won by Scott Martin who threw 59.40 metres.

Murphy and Eagles progress easily to their respective finals

Andrew Murphy with a jump of 16.40 (1.5m/s wind) was the best of the men’s Triple Jump qualifiers, while Commonwealth record holder Bronwyn Eagles was the best of those who progressed into the women’s Hammer final.

Shirvington out

In the men’s 100m preliminary round Adam Basil was the fastest of the qualifiers (10.41 – 0.8m/s wind). However, Matt Shirvington was forced to withdraw from the men’s 100m on medical grounds after succumbing to a severe viral infection which followed on from his recent Hamstring problems.

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