8 Feb 2016

Jacko Gill qualifies for Rio

7:17 pm on 8 February 2016

Auckland shot putter Jacko Gill has won the Christchurch Big Shot event and qualified for the Rio Olympics by more than 30 centimetres.

Auckland shot putter Jacko Gill. Photo by Marty Melville/Photosport.co.nz

Auckland shot putter Jacko Gill Photo: Photosport

Gill threw a stunning Personal Best (PB) of 20.83 metres, which is also a national resident record - the longest throw by a New Zealander in New Zealand.

He hit the big throw on his first attempt at the Retro Sports Facility, and was then challenged by Australian Damien Birkinhead, also tossing out a personal best of 20.80m to better the Australian Rio standard.

It surpassed the Rio 2016 Olympics nomination 'A' standard of 20.50, and erased the 20.79m resident record held by Timaru's Tom Walsh, which he set at the 2014 national championships.

Walsh was a late scratching from the event due to a hip injury. He still holds the national record at 21.62m, set in finishing fourth at the Beijing World Championships in 2015.

Gill's throw installs him as the world outdoor leader early in the 2016 season, and the 21-year-old has now achieved the World Indoor Championships qualification standard too.

Nick Willis wins Street Mile

The Street Mile race was won by Nick Willis in 4:15.9 ahead of Australian 1500m record holder Ryan Gregson, Willis unleashing his famous sprint over the closing stages.

Gregson's time was 4:17.1 and fellow Australian Brett Robinson finished in 4:19.1 ahead of Kiwi 800m champion Brad Mathas.

Willis now heads to his Michigan base to race indoors in Boston and New York, ahead of the World Indoor Championships in Portland, USA.

The women's mile went the way of an Australian quinella with Genevieve LaCaze winning in 4:35.8 from Melissa Duncan (4:36.3). Third place and the leading local was 800m specialist Angie Petty in 4:37.7, heading other Kiwis Lucy Oliver (Van Dalen) and Rosa Flanagan.


Shot Put, men:

1 Jacko Gill (NZL) 20.83 (NZ resident record), 2 Damien Birkinhead (AUS) 20.80, 3 Matt Cowie (AUS) 17.50

Mile, men:

1 Nick Willis (NZL) 4:15.9, 2 Ryan Gregson (AUS) 4:17.1, 3 Brett Robinson (AUS) 4:19.1.

Mile, women:

1 Genevieve LaCaze (AUS) 4:35.8, 2 Melissa Duncan (AUS) 4:36.3, 3 Angie Petty (NZL) 4:37.7