World championships finalist Zoe Buckman took advantage of a super-fast 1500m at the Diamond League meet in Oregon to improve her personal best and consolidate her position as the third-fastest Australian over the distance.
Kenyan Hellen Obiri claimed the win on Saturday in three minutes, 57.05 seconds, with Buckman finishing ninth in 4:04.09, stripping 0.73 off the time she set at last year’s world titles in Moscow.
‘‘It was a real test of my strength going out that hard,’’ said Buckman, who sat 10 metres off the lead for much of a race set up by a pacemaker.
‘‘It was an ambitious pace but a lot of my 1500m races lately have been slow with an 800m kick so it was a real shock to my body.
‘‘I haven’t had that experience in a long time. Probably since worlds.’’
Buckman, 25, spent four years in Eugene attending the University of Oregon, but had not raced there since 2011.
‘‘Surprisingly I wasn’t nervous,’’ she said.‘‘I thought I would be more nervous than usual in front of my college crowd. This was my second home for many years. But I wasn’t intimidated at all because I’ve run at world champs now.
‘‘I’m a completely different athlete now.
‘‘I’m a little tired from all the recent travel, but I’m still happy with a PB because that’s what I came here for.’’
Australian steeplechaser Genevieve LaCaze also bettered her PB on the weekend in a welcome return to form less than two months out from the Commonwealth Games.Competing at the Flanders Cup Meeting in Oordegem, Belgium, LaCaze guaranteed her spot on the Commonwealth Games team with an a qualifying time of 9:37.16, which saw her place second in a race won by Charlotta Fougberg in a Swedish record of 9:34.61.
In other Australian action over the weekend, Ryan Gregson was sixth in the men’s mile in 3:53.85 at the Prefontaine meet in Oregon. After being in eighth spot at the bell, Gregson surged all the way to second before fading in the final 200 metres in a race won by American Leonel Manzano. Collis Birmingham was 12th in the 5000m.
The Diamond League circuit now moves to Rome, with world and Olympic 100m hurdles champion Sally Pearson, world championships silver medallist Kim Mickle (javelin) and reigning Commonwealth discus champion Benn Harradine all in action on Thursday (early Friday AEST).The remaining members of the Commonwealth Games athletics squad will be announced on Thursday.
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.