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Athletes Take to the Track at Cooks Classic

National 100m champion Edward Osei-Nketia will go head to head over 100m with five times New Zealand 100m and 200m champion Joseph Millar in what is expected to be the highlight of the annual Cooks Classic meeting at Cooks Gardens Whanganui on Saturday evening.

They last raced at the Oceania Championships in Townsville in June in the semi-final of the 100m, which Osei-Nketia won in 10.43 with Millar third in 10.82. Osei-Nketia went on to win the final in 10.34.

Millar has had a good start to the season with wins in Hamilton in November in 10.68 and in Tauranga on New Year’s Day in 10.82. Osei-Nketia’s father Gus holds the Stadium record of 10.49 set at the 2000 Cooks Classic meeting.

Millar and Osei-Nketia will later compete over 220 yards in the Whanganui Sports Heritage Trust one mile medley relay where they will attempt to better the world record time of 3:30.6 for the 880yds, 440yds, 220yds and 220yds event set by a New Zealand Army team at Stamford Bridge England on 24 May 1919.

Canterbury-based Hamish Kerr, who set a Stadium record of 2.22m in the high jump last year, will be one to watch in the field events. Kerr is coming off the back of a successful 2019 season, which culminated in his first Diamond League meet and World Championships. Kerr equalled the New Zealand high jump record with a personal best of 2.30m at the Oceania Area Championships in June last year.

The New Zealand under 20 3000m championships are being held in conjunction with the Cooks Classic.

A venue made famous following Sir Peter Snell’s world record breaking mile of 3:54.4 in January 1962, the Cooks Classic has since become synonymous with the classic distance. Over the years Cooks Gardens has witnessed some 65 sub-four-minute miles with some of the greats of the sport such as Craig Mottram, Kip Keino, Mo Farah plus Kiwi legends Rod Dixon, John Walker and Dick Quax – all achieving the feat at the iconic venue.

With community at heart this event is a great evening for the family to support their local athletics. For more information visit http://www.athletics.org.nz/Events/2019-2020-Summer-Events

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