Focus on Manawatu pair's javelin rivalry at Cooks Classic meet

ALAN ADAMSON - ATHLETICS
Last updated 14:19 22/01/2013

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OPINION: Ben Langton-Burnell was the best Manawatu athlete at the Potts Classic in Hastings last Saturday. His best throw of 68.43m won the javelin, with his team and flatmate Zac Topping managing a personal best throw of 43.52m for third.

Much interest will focus on their next competition at Wanganui tonight. Adding a bit of variety will be the event concept, which sees men and women compete together, with results determined on a handicap basis and handicaps based on last year's rankings.

This means Zac will have in excess of 27m added to his efforts and New Zealand schools champion Tori Peeters about 25m to her best.

Langton-Burnell always throws well at Wanganui but will probably need to achieve a personal best to claim the biggest share of the prize money.

Incidentally, Topping is one of the country's top sprinters but a hamstring injury has forced him out of the sprint races in the classic series. He was scheduled to link up with Andy Kruy in what would have been a very strong team in the 2x100m relay. Langton-Burnell, who has no great reputation as a sprinter, has agreed to replace Topping in this event.

Guess I got side-tracked, so back to the Hastings meeting, where we had good representation in the long jump with Ashleigh Sando recording a 5.42m leap for second and Stacey Gunn a 5.11m effort for fourth.

Gunn picked up another fourth placing when she combined with Vanessa Story to record a time of 25.76sec in the 2x100m women's relay.

Story earlier finished third in the B grade 100m, running 13.13sec, then later in the programme lined up in the A grade 400m, where she was a very close fifth, recording 61.51sec.

Josh Currie also found himself in the A grade 400m where he finished sixth in 54.34sec. Liam Woolford found himself up against New Zealand schools champion Thomas Currie in a two-man field in the 3000m steeples, with Currie proving far too strong.

Joshua Baan contested the 1000m in another of the night's smaller fields. He was outsprinted in the race to the line, finishing second in 2min 35.30sec.

Across the Tasman, Liam Carr ended up being fourth in both the long jump and triple jump at the Sydney Youth Olympics last week.

Viewing the results I note that in the triple jump on Friday, he opened with a 13m jump then passed on his remaining attempts.

In the long jump the next day, he opened with a 6.79m effort which proved to be his best effort, only 3mm short of the third placing.

■ Last year I highlighted the plight the sport is likely to suffer because of the non-availability of caps for starting guns. The crisis is starting to hit home with many areas now restricting the use of caps at club meetings so they have enough to use at major meetings.

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We received notification from a local supplier that they expected a supply to be available in mid- December, but this hasn't eventuated. It appears the regulations in place in Taiwan allow the shipment of caps only if they are transported in a container.

The mind boggles as to the number of packets of caps that would be required to fill a container. My understanding is an Australian company has agreed to import a container load and then be the distributor for both Australia and New Zealand, and the expected availability of the supply of caps is now mid-February.

I wouldn't be too confident of this date being achieved.

■ This weekend sees the North Island 14, 16 and 18 inter-provincial teams competition in Masterton.

It is somewhat surprising only seven athletes will represent Manawatu-Wanganui at this meeting, which must be disappointing to the team selectors who worked so hard to get a team together.

■ Last Tuesday's weather was not ideal for the first event in the Manawatu Striders Super 7 series, but there still appeared to be a good turnout.

Hopefully the weather gods are a bit kinder this week and there is a bumper turnout.

■ With several of the Palmerston North club officials travelling to Wanganui tonight to officiate at the Cooks Classic, there is going to be the need for more help to run this week's club night. Lance Gray has agreed to take control, so please, do not hesitate in lending a hand.

■ What's on. -

January 22: Cooks Classic, Wanganui. Palmerston North Programme C. Manawatu Striders Super 7.

January 25: Capital Classic Wellington.

January 26: Inter Provincial 14-18 Masterton.

January 29: Palmerston North Programme A. Manawatu Striders Super 7.

- Manawatu Standard

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