Boyd vaults into final

17 August 2016

ATHLETICS: Alana Boyd has qualified for the women’s pole vault final at the Rio Olympic Stadium today.

After the Australian trio of Eloise Wellings, Genevieve LaCaze and Madeline Hills earlier qualified for the final of the women’s 5000m, Boyd cruised into her final with a successful leap over 4.55m.

Ryan Gregson (men’s 1500m) also progressed to the semi-finals but Luke Mathews (men’s 1500m), Alexander Hartmann (men’s 200m) and Michelle Jenneke (women’s 100m hurdles) all missed out.

Dual Olympian and two-time Commonwealth Games champion Boyd only required two jumps to reach the final, having also cleared 4.45m.

“It’s great to go and get a clear scorecard, no misses, and get through to the final,” Boyd said.

“The qualifying can always be a little bit nerve-wracking and almost a bit more nerve-wracking than the final.

“So that was the first step and now I’ve done that.

“I was really happy obviously with first attempt clearances, but there’s a few little things I want to improve on.”

Gregson celebrated his own milestone moment in the men’s 1500m heats.

Having been shuffled back through the field approaching the bell, Gregson forced his way out and raced home strongly to finish second in his heat in 3:39.13, behind Kenya’s Asbel Kiprop in 3:38.97.

“That’s the first time I’ve ever automatically qualified, it’s good not to have that nervous wait,” Gregson said.

“I can’t lack confidence and the only way to get confidence is to put performances like that on the board.

“I haven’t missed a step so far.”

While Gregson progressed, there was only heartache for Luke Mathews.

Mathews finished 12th in his heat in a time of 3:44.51 and did not hide his disappointment, having also failed to progress from the 800m heats.

“I pressed the go button but there was nothing there,” Mathews said.

“You can say as many bad things as you want about your races but they are just words.

“The fact is I came second last in my two heats and that’s a really steep learning curve for me.”

There was also disappointment for 100m hurdler Michelle Jenneke, who finished sixth in her heat in a time of 13.26 to miss a place in the semi-finals.

“The atmosphere was awesome. I had a Brazilian in the race and the crowd made a lot of noise,” Jenneke said.

“I’ve been battling with a bit of nerve pain down my right side and it grabbed a bit at the second jump so I’m really proud I got through the race.”

David Taylor

olympics.com.au

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