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Porritt Classic 2011

Porritt Classic, Asics Athletics New Zealand Grand Prix Series, Porritt Stadium – 19 February 2011

Nikki Hamblin

Nikki Hamblin

Olympic Games 1500m silver medallist Nick Willis found the sting missing in his legs fading to third in the 800m in Hamilton on Saturday evening while Commonwealth Games double silver medallist Nikki Hamblin showed that tactics played a big part in her victory.

Willis was well placed after the first lap covered in 52 seconds but down the home straight he was out gunned by Samoan Beijing Olympian Aunese Curreen and three times national 800m champion Tim Hawkes from Wellington.

Curreen who has a best of 1m 47.45s, recorded 1m 50.84s edging out Hawkes by four hundredths of a second with Willis clocking in at 1m 51.56s.

It was a memorable week for Curreen with his wife Manuia presenting him with a daughter on Wednesday.

Willis said that the race felt quick the whole way.

“I just didn’t quite have that extra zing in me. Obviously those guys ran better on the day so full credit to them,” said Willis.

“I would have liked to have run better – but it wasn’t quite there. That’s why I needed the race to see where I’m at before some bigger 1500 metres coming up,” he added.

Going into the final 200m Hamblin was in third place in the women’s 800m behind Angela Smit and Katie Wright. However a gap opened up on the inside down the home stretch and Hamblin seized the opportunity to win in 2m 5.42s. Smit finished in 2m 6.79s with Wright running 2m 7.02s.

The next goal for Hamblin is the New Zealand woman’s mile record in Christchurch on Saturday.

Andrea Miller was under her New Zealand resident 100m hurdles record of 13.34s with a polished display in 13.26s, but the following wind was just over the allowable two metres per second for the record to be recognised.

“I’m back over to Australia, get in some training, race in the Sydney meeting and then back for the New Zealand nationals, I’d really like to give this record another crack,” said Miller.

The wind also robbed a couple of records in the men’s 110m hurdles, Michael Cochrane went under the national M19 record with his time of 14.03s and Joshua Hawkins would have equalled his M16 record of 14.09s. Cochrane also won the 400m hurdles in 51.11s from James Mortimer 51.16s.

Julia Ratcliffe added nearly a metre to her New Zealand W17, W18 and W19 hammer record with a throw of 62.28m. She broke the record twice in the competition with 62.23m in round two and added a further five centimetres in round five.

“I started with a throw of 57 metres so I decided going into round two it was going to be a 60, but didn’t expect a 62. Very stoked with that,” said Ratcliffe.

Ryan Tinkle established a personal best of 58.01m in the senior men’s hammer throw.

The track was lightening fast for the sprinters with Rochelle Coster setting a personal best of 11.68s into to slight head wind in the 100m just shading national champion Anna Smythe by a hundredth of a second.

Carl Van der Speck charged through in the men’s 100m in 10.51s beating Isaac Tatoa who recorded 10.71s.

Billy Crayford was over the high jump with a personal best 2.15m; Alex Jordan clocked a personal best and the best in the country this season of 46.87m in the 400m; Louise Jones went to the top of the New Zealand rankings this season with her win in the 400m in 54.46s ahead of 14 year old Talia Horgan who ran a personal best 56.20s; Hayden McLaren captured the 1500m in 3m 43.81s; Tracey Hale won the women’s 400m hurdles in 60.81s and Commonwealth Games silver medallist Stuart Farquhar sent the javelin out to 80.52m.

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