It was a massive day and night at the IAAF World U20 championships with nine Australian women on the track and field for Day 3 of competition.
Caitlyn Hester and Louise Mendes were unable to reproduce their pre-tournament form in hammer throw qualification. Mendes had the best throw of the pair with 55.49 metres in Group B while Hester was able to manage 52.67m in Group A with a 29th place finish.
“That was not what I was hoping to get,” Hester said.
Caitlyn Hester spins our heads right round, right round, as she throws 52.67 in the women’s Hammer Throw qualifications at the World U/20 #ThisisAthletics #Tampere2018 pic.twitter.com/S7HThApQvA— Athletics Australia (@AthsAust) July 12, 2018
“If I threw a PB I probably would have made top 5 so I am kind of bummed with that,” she said.
In the lead up to the World Championships, long jumper Grace Brennan had a difficult preparation with two hamstring tears. Unfortunately, in her first competition representing Australia her jumps (5.62m, 5.93m and 5.84m) were not enough to qualify for the final.
Only three of the athletes achieved the automatic qualifying standard of 6.20m.
In the final of the 800m, Carley Thomas ran a personal best of 2:01.13, her second PB in two days, to win silver.
WATCH - HIghlights from the women's 800m final in Tampere#IAAFworlds pic.twitter.com/1cVzMnNozd— IAAF (@iaaforg) July 12, 2018
“I was just trying to stick behind the lead people and stay in touch and give it all I had at the end,” Thomas said.
"I was just thinking it's not over until I cross the line. I just had to get to the finish and go as hard as I could."
Ella Connolly was in medal contention for the 400m but had to settle for fourth with a time of 52.58, just outside her season best which she ran in the semi-final. As Connolly entered the home straight in third just ahead of Hima Das but she powered to the line for India’s first track medal at a major championship.
Riley Day was drawn against American Twanisha Terry in the semi-final of the 100m but as Terry broke the championship record (11.03), Day finished fifth in 11.67 seconds. While her time was 0.1 faster than her heat it was 0.1 short of the non-auto qualifier time.
“Every race makes you better and better, and it gives you more experience,” Day said.
Riley Day races the world’s fastest U20 women in the 100 metre semi-finals. She improves on her heat time, running 11.67 to finish twelfth overall. #ThisisAthletics #Tampere2018 pic.twitter.com/Zcaudb7ltQ— Athletics Australia (@AthsAust) July 12, 2018
“I knew it was going to be a really tough semi out here tonight…so I tried to give it my all and that’s what I did," she said.
Jarmillia Murphy-Knight, who had set a personal best in the heats, ran under sub-60s for the second time but it was not enough to progress to the final of the 400m hurdles.