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NZ Record For Julia Ratcliffe. Tom Walsh & Dame Adams Dominate Shot Put

Nick Willis has made his 2020 New Zealand debut on the track at the Porritt Classic in Hamilton. The two-time Olympic 1500m medallist took a convincing first place in the men’s 1500m, crossing in 3:46.71 after a strong final lap. In second was Eric Speakman in 3:49.24 and William Sinclair was third in 3:49.65.

Nick Willis / Photo Credit Alan Macdonald Macspeed Foto

“It was a good hard hit out,” said Nick. “I felt good with 400m to go, and my coaches and I talked about practicing running a good last 400 metres, although the last 100 was far from easy.”

Nick said he was enjoying being back on home soil. “I’ve got four races lined-up and am looking forward to travelling down the country. Auckland next, then Wellington and Nationals in Christchurch, so it’s a great privilege to still be doing this at 36.”

In the women’s 1500m Katharine Camp put her foot down in the final lap, striding ahead of the competition and finishing strong in 4:15.09. Angela Petty powered through the final 100m to finish second in 4:16.20 and Ran Urabe of Japan in third in 4:16.48.

Julia Ratcliffe was in strong form at the Porritt Classic. Her final throw of 72.35m was a new personal best and New Zealand record, and just 15cm short of the Tokyo Olympic Games hammer throw entry standard of 72.50m. Second was Lauren Bruce with 67.44m, followed by Australian Alexandra Hulley in 67.15m.

A best throw of 18.81m secured first position for Dame Valerie Adams, an improvement on her Tokyo qualifier of 18.65m at the Potts Classic on January 25, followed by Canadians Sarah Mitton (18.30m) and Brittany Crew (17.87m). Tom Walsh was first in the men’s shot put with a best effort of 21.35, followed by training-mate Ryan Ballantyne with a new personal best throw of 19.64m. In third was Jan Jeuschede of Germany with a best throw of 18.70m.

Tom Walsh / Photo Credit Alan Macdonald Macspeed Foto

In the sprints, Zoe Hobbs was first in the women’s 100m in 11.65, a strong result just two days after she helped the New Zealand 4x100m team break the New Zealand 4x100m record at the Canberra Track Classic. Edward Osei-Nketia claimed the sprint double for the second year running – crossing first in the 100m in 10.81 and the 200m in 21.86.

Josephine Reeves cleared 1.78m in the open women’s high jump to better the entry standard for the 2020 World Athletics U20 Championships in July.

Next up for many athletes is the Sir Graeme Douglas International at Douglas Track & Field, Trusts Arena, in Auckland next Sunday 23 February. The event programme can be found here.

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