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Harradine stands and delivers

31 August 2011

Discus thrower Benn Harradine has given the Australian athletics team a welcome boost by finishing fifth in the men's discus at the world championships.

Harradine capped an extremely consistent series with his best throw of 64.77m in the final round.

It was the best-ever performance by an Australian men's discus thrower at world or Olympic level, although the 28-year-old still thought he missed out on a medal that was there for the taking.

Robert Harting of Germany was a deserving winner of a second straight world title with a best effort of 68.97m.

The minor medals went to reigning Olympic champion Gerd Kanter of Estonia (66.95m) and Iran's Ehsan Hadadi (66.08m).

"It wasn't a bad performance at all but I just felt like there was a medal there for me and I let it go," said the 28-year-old Victorian.

"I am super happy with the consistency of the evening.

"My goal was to get out there and consolidate in the first round and just try and rip in from there.

"But I couldn't find that little bit extra to get that extra metre and a half to get a medal."

In the other events on Tuesday, Australian Lauren Boden ran a disappointing time of 56.58 seconds in her semi final- nearly a second slower than she ran in Monday's heats.

American Lashinda Demus, a two-time world championships silver medallist, was the fastest qualifier in 53.82.

Australia Kaila McKnight was also run out in the semis of the women's 1500m, finishing 10th in her heat in 4:10.83.

The only event scheduled for day five of the championships on Wednesday is the women's 20km walk, where Australia will be represented by Claire Tallent and Regan Lamble.

Tallent, the wife of dual Beijing Olympics medallist Jared Tallent, made a significant breakthrough last year when she claimed the silver medal at the Commonwealth Games in New Delhi.

Lamble, 19, has made giant strides this year, clocking a best time of 1:31:39 in April to move to sixth place on the Australian all-time list.

The Russian team will fancy their chances of repeating the quinella they achieved in the men's 20km race on Sunday, as they have the two fastest athletes in the field this year - Vera Sokolova and Anisya Kirdyapkina.

John Salvado

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