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Stone spears back into Olympic contention

Athletics Australia

24 July 2000 - Australia's javelin stocks took a turn for the better on the weekend with Queensland's World Cup champion Joanna Stone throwing her first Olympic qualifier in her first competition for nearly two years.

Returning from elbow surgery and a recent back problem, Stone threw 62.66m at a Pre-Trials meet in Nudgee, Queensland, and finished the competition unscathed which augurs well for her Trials campaign.

She joins Olympic silver medallist Louise Currey (NSWIS) as Australia's two female athletes who have bettered the Olympic standard of 60 metres.

Stone pulled up with expected muscle soreness which she put down to not throwing at that intensity for over a year, but was looking forward to competing in Queensland again on 5 August before the Trials.

Another javelin victor on Saturday was NSW's Adrian Hatcher who threw 81.60m at an IAAF Permit Meet in Budapest, Hungary.

But at Nudgee, the Olympic qualifiers kept rolling out with in-form sprinter Sharon Cripps (QAS) registering her first Olympic A qualifier in the 200m. The recent Inside Sport athlete model clocked a personal best of 23.13s to win and join Melinda Gainsford-Taylor, Lauren Hewitt, Cathy Freeman, Tania Van Heer and Nova Peris-Kneebone with Olympic qualifiers in the 200m.

Gainsford-Taylor (NSWIS) stepped up to the 400m in winning style and also clocked her first Olympic A qualifier for the event of 51.73s. She edged out Susan Andrews (WAIS) 52.02s, Lee Naylor (VIS) 52.03s and training partner Jana Pittman (NSWIS) 52.63s in the race of the day.

Yet to attain an Olympic A qualifier, Victoria's Marg Crowley set her first B qualifier in the 800m of 2:01.61 and looks certain to go close to qualifying in her favoured 1500m at her next outing.

In other promising results from Nudgee, Nicole Boegman (AIS) continued her comeback from injury with a 6.46m in the long jump, Peter Burge (NSWIS) took out the men's event with 7.84m, Andrew Murphy (NSWIS) won the triple jump with 16.41m, Michael Hazel (VIS) was victorious in the 400m in 46.70s, Brendan Hanigan (TAS) outsprinted allcomers in the 800m in 1:49.23, while Blair Young (QAS) clocked 50.19s in the 400m Hurdles although involved in a car accident on the way to the track.

Twenty-year-old Victorian thrower Andrew Martin recorded a personal best of 78.70m in the javelin as he creeps closer to the Olympic qualifying mark of 82 metres.

In Budapest, while Hatcher won the javelin throw, sprinter Nova Peris-Kneebone (NTIS) finished second in the 200m in 23.40s behind South Africa's Heide Seyerling.

Lauren Poetschka (WA) continues to improve on her European tour with a 56.29s 400m hurdles for fourth place.

Debbie Sosimenko (NSWIS) threw an encouraging 64.79m for fourth in the hammer throw as she comes back from injury. Also having his third competition back from injury, Grant Cremer (AIS) clocked 1:47.08 for sixth in the 800m.

In other results, Stuart Rendell (ACT) threw 75.09m for 10th in the hammer throw, Rohan Robinson was fifth in the men's 400m hurdles in 51.08s, and Evette Cordy eighth in the women's event in 57.73s.

AT A BRITISH GRAND PRIX MEETING IN WATFORD ON SATURDAY, Geelong 16-year-old Georgie Clarke finished second over 1500m in 4:11.67 behind Ireland's Sonia O'Sullivan.

AT EBERSTADT, GERMANY YESTERDAY, Tim Forsyth (VIS) finished 11th in the high jump with 2.20m, while the day before in Chemnitz, Germany young Victorian pole vaulter Bridgid Isworth recorded a best height of 4.20m for sixth. NSW' s Holt Hardy was fifth in the 1500m in 3:42.74 and Martin Byron ninth in the 800m in 1:48.20.

AT THE UNIVERSITY OF QUEENSLAND ON FRIDAY NIGHT, Benita Willis (AIS) went close to another Olympic A qualifier in the 5000m clocking 15:36.18 to beat Tasmania's Mandy Giblin who set a personal best of 15:41.79.

AT THE VICTORIAN ROAD RELAY CHAMPIONSHIPS ON SATURDAY AT SANDOWN, Steve Moneghetti (VIS) continued to have one of his best preparations for a major championship running 18 minutes 1 second for the 6.2km leg with training partner Lee Troop (VIS) only running two seconds slower in the windy conditions.

Both athletes are not only preparing for the Athletics Trials and Olympic Games, they are aiming for victory at the Optus Australian Cross CountryChampionships to be held at Yarra Bend, Melbourne on Saturday 5 August.