Day 1: IAAF World Athletics Championships
Day one of the 2019 IAAF World Championships featured two New Zealand athletes, Julia Ratcliffe in the women’s hammer throw qualifying and Edward Osei-Nketia in the men’s 100m heats.
In just her second competition since winning the Commonwealth title in April 2018, Julia had a best throw of 70.45m, short of the automatic qualifying standard of 72m and just outside of the top 12 who will progress to tomorrow’s final.
Julia said she was pleased with how she attacked the competition mentally: “It was probably one of the best head spaces I've gone into a competition with, as I've only done one other competition since the Commonwealth Games. It's kind of just a big mental game.”
“I just had a great time out there. There is heaps to be grateful for and heaps to just enjoy out there. I was glad I was able to take it all in.”
The focus for Julia will now be on a move back to Hamilton to build up for the New Zealand domestic season and Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. “I've been enjoying training more than I ever have. Just taking the pressure off myself, just doing it because I love it.”
In his first major International competition, Edward Osei-Nketia lined up for his 100m heat in lane seven next to medal hopefuls Andre De Grasse of Canada and defending World Champion Justin Gatlin of the United States. The top three in each heat were guaranteed a place in the semi-final, along with the next six top performers. Gatlin crossed first in 10.07 with Edward coming in 5th in the competitive heat in 10.24. The time ranked him the eighth top performer across the heats, just two places shy of joining tomorrow’s semi-finals.
The 18 year old said his start felt good: “All I just did was keep my focus, try not attack. I had the first 30m but then I think I had a bit of self-doubt during the race,” said Eddie. “I’m here for the experience.”
Eddie added it was helpful being between two seasoned competitors. “Those guys have been doing it for a long time and I'm just only starting to begin.”