Australian shot putter Dale Stevenson set for London Olympics
Australian shot putter Dale Stevenson is set to make his Olympic Games debut in London after hurling a selection qualifier at a meet in South Carolina.
AUSTRALIAN shot putter Dale Stevenson is set to make his Olympic Games debut in London after hurling a selection qualifier at a meet in South Carolina.
The 23-year-old Victorian, who has been training in the US, threw a personal best 20.63 metres with his last of six throws at the Clemson Invitational in South Carolina (USA) on Saturday to seal a spot in London.
An ecstatic Stevenson revealed he’d sensed something special was in the offing after some impressive training.
“Even though it was a relatively small competition, it was the most nervous and excited to throw that I have been for a while – the reason being that I knew that it could be the day for me to break through,” Stevenson said.
“Almost all of my indicators over the last month of training here at the University of Georgia have been at a lifetime best level.
“Although getting the qualifier was a shock, I knew that I was in PB shape.”
Stevenson opened his campaign with 20.48m, just 2cm short of a qualifier, but failed to better the mark until his last throw.
“I probably tried a bit too hard in rounds two, three and four and only found my rhythm again in round five in time to nail the last one,” the 2010 Commonwealth Games bronze medallist said.
On an encouraging weekend that featured Olympic pole vault champion Steve Hooker and 1500m runner Ryan Gregson securing Olympic qualifying marks, javelin thrower Kathryn Mitchell and walker Chris Erickson also achieved the feat.
Mitchell’s qualifier came when she threw 62.46m in the women’s javelin at a meet in Saarbucken, Germany to book her ticket to London.
While she narrowly missed supassing the personal best of 62.51m that she threw at an unsanctioned meet in January, the result is a relief for the Victorian after not matching her early 2012 form until this weekend.
Erickson was the first Australian across the line in the men’s 20km walk at the IAAF Race Walking World Cup in Saransk, Russia.
He was 23rd in 1:22:20, with his qualifying time putting him right in the mix in a competitive battle for Olympic selection. - AAP