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Frayne fires but foul night for Fabrice

14 August 2016

ATHLETICS: Henry Frayne recorded his best ever finish in an Olympic final, but it was disappointment for Fabrice Lapierre in the men’s long jump final at the Rio Olympic Stadium on Saturday night.

Frayne, who was ninth at the London 2012 Games, finished seventh with a best leap of 8.06m, set with his second attempt of the competition. It was a fantastic performance given his very limited competition preparation leading into the Rio Games.

But Lapierre was left to lament what may have been.

One of the leading medal contenders with a season best of 8.31m, the silver medallist at the 2015 world championships and 2016 world indoor championships fouled two of his three jumps, with his one successful effort of 7.87m leaving him eliminated from the final in 10th position.

The Australian could not hide his disappointment, clutching his head as the realisation set in that the 2016 Olympic dream was over for the 32-year-old.

“It sucks,” Lapierre said.

“You’ve got to get on that board.

“I’m pretty sure I would have jumped the furthest tonight but I just didn’t get on the board, I fouled, and it hurts.

“I’m sure I could have had a really big jump but you’ve got to get on the board and I didn’t do that today, so I didn’t get it done.”

Frayne, too, was slightly disappointed, noting his recent lack of competition due to injury impacted his performance.

“It’s disappointing, I didn’t come to the Olympics to finish seventh,” Frayne said.

“Those guys were stepping it up in the last couple of rounds and I was struggling not to cramp, or tear a muscle or something, I just had flat legs.”

Jeff Henderson of USA won gold with a leap of 8.38m

South Africa’s Luvo Manyonga won silver with  a jump of 8.37m while defending Olympic champion Greg Rutherford won the bronze with a leap of 8.29m.

In the men’s pole vault qualifying, Australian teenager Kurtis Marschall was buzzing over his first Olympic experience.

And so he should be after an outstanding debut performance.

The youngest male member of the Australian athletics team, the 19-year-old from South Australia was successful at 5.30m, 5.45m and with his third attempt at 5.60m, but was eliminated from the competition after failing to clear 5.70m.

He finished 15th, just missing the final on a countback.

“First Olympics, aged 19, jumping 5.60, just missing out on the final by countback, I’m pretty stoked,” Marschall said.

“I would have loved to have jumped 5.70 and made the final, that would have just topped it off.

“Thinking about it, jumping 5.60 at the Olympic Games where a lot of people are under a lot of pressure, I reckon I’m pretty proud of myself.”

In the men’s 10,000m, David McNeill was the best of the Australians, finishing 16th in a time of 27minutes 51.71 seconds. His performances was the best by an Australian at the Olympics by 23 seconds.

With the African runners, as expected, controlling the race in front, McNeill worked hard to stay with the main pack over the first 6,000m before gradually falling back.

However, he produced a great finishing burst over the final few laps to fight his way back up the finishing order.

Ben St Lawrence lost touch with the main bunch from the 3000m mark, but fought to the end and finished 28th in a time of 28:46.32. 

The defending Olympic champion and two-time world champion, the great Mo Farah, won the final in 27:05.17, overcame a fall early on and produced a blistering burst in the home straight to stay on track for a second 5,000m-10,000m Olympic double.

Kenya’s Paul Tanui, who headed Farah in the back and led on to the home straight, won silver in 27:05.64 with Ethiopia’s Tamirat Tola winning bronze in 27:06.54.


David Taylor


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