Monday, May 20, 2013

Genevieve Lacaze earns Worlds berth

Genevieve Lacaze will compete in the women’s 3000m steeplechase at the IAAF World Championships after running 9:37.62, an IAAF World Championships A-Qualifier, to win at the Ponce Grand Prix in Ponce (PUR) yesterday. Thrilled by her performance, Lacaze’s run, which was also a personal best, means that she can now prepare for the IAAF World Championships with complete confidence in her ability to run well when required. “I am super happy. I couldn’t have imagined the race to be any better than what it was. My coach and I had been talking about how training has been going well and that we thought a great run wasn’t too far away but to get it now is fantastic,” Lacaze, who will make her IAAF World Championships debut, said. “We had pace out there through one kilometre and to be honest it was a little quicker than I would have liked so I stuck to the time that I was focusing on and sat back in the early stages. I had always wanted to come home strong as this is something that I haven’t done as well as I could in recent races so I made my move with a few laps to go and ended up going past the leader to win which was fantastic. Technically my race was great as well. My water jumps were better which is awesome and the race gives me a very positive mindset ahead of a European campaign in the coming months. “In some ways yesterday was a bit make or break. I would have been on a plane to New York for the Diamond League had I not run the time, and because I had planned to push for the qualifier in Ponce my coach and I hadn’t set too much in stone from this weekend on. Now we can sit down, make a plan around racing in Europe, and focus on being at my best in Moscow.” Lacaze’s performance ensures her selection because she was also the winner of the Selection Trial as part of the Qantas Australian Athletics Championships last month. "Genevieve will be automatically selected to compete in the 3000m steeplechase in Moscow after running an IAAF World Championships A-Qualifier yesterday and winning the national title earlier this month,” Dion Russell, Athletics Australia Chairman of Selectors, said. “Although she will not be officially named in the team until the Final Selectors Meeting in late July, Lacaze's performance today rewards her win at the Nationals thanks to the 2013 Selection Policy clearly stipulating the importance of victory in the Trial as part of the Selection Process." Lacaze’s outstanding effort follows the Oxy High Performance Meet held at Occidental College in Eagle Rock (USA) on Saturday AEST, with Australians Ben St Lawrence (NSW), Zoe Buckman (ACT), James Kaan (NSW) and Selma Kajan (NSW) competing. The last on the track, St Lawrence, who only a fortnight ago confirmed his Australian Flame selection in the men’s 10,000m, clocked 13:18.81 to finish 3rd overall in the timed men’s 5000m final behind Olympic champion Mo Farah (GBR). St Lawrence’s performance is his first IAAF World Championships B-Qualifier and brings him into contention for selection to compete in the event in Moscow this August. "Ben's performance sees him come into contention for a second event after ensuring his selection in the 10,000m at the Payton Jordan Invitational a few weeks back. This means that he will be considered for the 5000m at the Final Selectors Meeting. Congratulations to Ben on a solid run,” Russell added. Competing in the 1500m, IAAF World Championships bound Buckman crossed in a season best of 4:05.91 to finish sixth out of 38 athletes in a timed final, while in the men’s event national champion Kaan ran 3:38.23 in heat three of four. Kajan ran a new personal pest of 2:03.64 in the women’s 800m to improve on the 2:04.45 she ran at the Queensland Track Classic earlier this year. In other results from across the weekend, Olympic silver medallist Mitchell Watt (Qld) leaped 7.58m to place 12th in the men’s long jump at Round 2 of the Samsung Diamond League in Shanghai (CHN), while Liam Adams (Vic, 1:04:36) and Nikki Chapple (Vic, 1:22:44) won the men's and women's events at the SMH Half Marathon. Athletics Australia