Click here to submit your sports results for The Canberra Times
License article

Breen speeds to Track Classic win

Melissa Breen is hoping the heats and final of the women's 100m sprint at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games will be held in daylight.

Australia's new national record holder says she prefers to run during the day.

But it was under lights at the Perth Track Classic on Saturday night that she produced a Commonwealth Games A-Qualifying time of 11.31 seconds.

It was her second A-Qualifier in as many weeks.

Saturday night's performance came after her starting blocks moved when the gun went to start the race and  she was left on her knees as the other runners headed down the track.

Luckily for her, she was granted a re-start.


Breen ran an 11.11 seconds in Canberra two weeks ago to claim the national record and followed that up with an 11.15 seconds in the final of the same meet.

But that was with Sally Pearson alongside her, pushing her all the way.

Pearson pulled out of the event early on Saturday to concentrate on her 100m hurdles.

Victorian Ashleigh Whittaker was the next best behind Breen, with a time of 11.58 seconds.

Having someone breathing down your neck as you run would be a massive catalyst to go quicker.

"I was disappointed with the time; I thought I would have run a bit quicker," Breen said.

"The Canberra race was during the day and I think that's great for sprinting to run in the daytime.

"I have to be realistic. Every time I run I won't break the national record.

"But to run another A-Qualifier for the Commonwealth Games is awesome."

Breen will look to add a 200m A-Qualifier time in the next month and hopes that a 4x100m womens' relay team will also be a part of her schedule in Glasgow.

"The girls are really coming through and it's exciting to have a good team for the 100m

"Hopefully we'll get one this year, then get one at the Worlds and then at Rio."

Long jump

Victorian long jumper Brooke Stratton is inching closer towards a spot on the plane to Glasgow for the Commonwealth Games each time she competes.

The 20-year old was just 3cm short of producing an A-Qualifier in the long jump at the Perth Track Classic, with a personal best of 6.62m.

It was her second B-Qualifier for the season, after an earlier jump of 6.60m.

And it may be enough for her to make the national team.

But Stratton is not interested in relying on results to fall her way.

"I have two or three competitions coming up and I'm looking forward to working on a couple of things in that timeframe and come out and jump big at nationals and secure my spot for Glascow," she said.

"Come Commonwealth Games trials (Melbourne April 3-6), hopefully I can get within an A-Qualifier.

"It's only 3cm, so fingers crossed."

For the past two years though, Glasgow was a lot further away that 3cm.

Stratton had struggled with her fitness and energy levels before finally being diagnosed with celiac disease – a gluten intolerance.

It's amazing what an athlete can do when she is fit and healthy.

"This season I have been working on my running, speed on the runway and my take off position," she said.

"It's probably my best pre-season I have ever had; it's good to see my hard work is paying off for me,

"The past couple of years I haven't been 100 per cent with my health, so I thought this year I would go out and have a good crack and I've had a pretty good pre-season."

Stratton needs to produce an A-Qualifying jump in one her the next four meets to cement that spot in Glasgow. If she can't do that she will be relying on jumps, probably by Kerry Perkins and Margaret Gayen to decide who will represent Australia at the Commonwealths.

If one of them can jump an A-Qualifier, then all three are eligible to be chosen. If none of them can reach 6.65m, then only two with B jumps can go.

The competition continues in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane in March before the Commonwealth Trials in Melbourne in early April.

Marquee athletics

The marquee athletes at the Perth Track Classic had mixed results on Saturday night.

US world 400m champion LaShawn Merritt cruised to victory, while 400m Olympic hurdle gold medallist Felix Sanchez struggled to get through his event.

Merritt won in a time of 45.90 seconds, which wasn't quick, but enough to beat Craig Burns of Queensland (46.21) and WA's Ben Offereins (47.19).

LaShawn said he had to hold back around the bend as he hit a head wind, but powered home down the straight.

"The season for me hasn't really started and I don't have a major meet this year," he said.

"But I've known I was coming for about a month and a half so I got in shape.

"It wasn't the perfect race.

"To go out and win and run 45 seconds; I'm pleased with that."

Sanchez, from the Dominican Republic looked proppy from the start of his race and finished fifth in a time of 52.75 seconds. New Zealand's Michael Cochrane took the win with a time of 49.72 seconds.

But Sanchez said a tight quadriceps muscle forced him to hold back.

"When I warmed up, I got here a little late, I felt a little tightness in my quad. It's warm here. I thought it would be fine," he said.

"The first hurdle I tried to open up and I felt it tighten up.

"So I backed it off and I thought it would be ok. It kind of went away for the most part, but I felt I was losing touch, so I kind of picked it up again.

"But I just didn't want to injure it more"

Sanchez said he didn't think there was any damage done and that he'll be ok to compete in Sydney in two weeks, after a quick trip back to his home in LA.

twitter Follow WAtoday on Twitter @WAtoday