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PROTRACK » GENERAL » Women's 4 x 100m team fails to fire & Tony Fairweather's not happy

Women's 4 x 100m team fails to fire & Tony Fairweather's not happy

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Women fail to fire in relay heats

Maitland Mercury
05 Sep, 2011

Despite a flying anchor leg from world champion Sally Pearson, Australia failed to qualify for the final of the women's 4x100m relay at the world athletics championships in Daegu.

East Maitland sprinter Laura Whaler was not among the final line-up of Australian sprinters who took to the track in South Korea on Sunday night (AEST) for the heats of the relay.

Her place was instead filled by fellow NSW athlete Hayley Butler, who started from the blocks before handing over to ACT’s Melissa Breen.

But a botched second change between Breen and Charlotte van Veenendaal meant Pearson took the baton in fifth place.

She overtook British anchor runner Jeanette Kwakye in the final straight to finish fourth in 43.79 seconds.

The time was only the 11th quickest overall, ruling the Australian team out of the final by less than three tenths of a second.

The final was won by the American team in 41.56s, ahead of teams from Jamaica and the Ukraine.

Last edited by youngy on Wed Sep 07, 2011 9:52 am; edited 2 times in total

"Let's Go While We're Young"



Whaler’s omission cost relay team finals spot: coach

Maitland Mercury
06 Sep, 2011

Laura Whaler’s omission from the Australian women’s 4x100 metre relay cost the team a spot in the world championship final according to her Gillieston Heights coach Tony Fairweather.

Whaler was left out of the team, which contested the heats at the South Korean venue on Sunday night.

The 24-year-old from East Maitland had helped the national team qualify for the championships but was replaced by Hayley Butler in the final four.

Butler had been training with the squad since arriving in Daegu on August 10 and was given the nod ahead of Whaler.

The Australians finished their heat in fourth spot and recorded a time of 43.79 seconds, putting them 11th overall despite a fast finish from Sally Pearson.

The main focus post-race was a botched baton change between the second and third runners – Melissa Breen and Charlotte van Veenendaal.

Whaler had traditionally run the third leg for Australia and Fairweather said his charge could have made a difference.

“The team lost four metres on that leg and Laura [Whaler] is a specialised bend-runner,” Fairweather said.

“She is probably the second best at it in the country behind Sally [Pearson].

“I can’t work it out ... and I’m confident that if she [Whaler] was there they could have broken 43 [seconds] and made the final.”

Fairweather said Whaler was understandably disappointed about the decision but remained upbeat about her debut in the national senior athletics squad.

“She [Laura] was very disappointed not to get a run but she remained very supportive of the team,” Fairweather said.

“She said she has learnt a lot from just being there and being around athletes like Sally [Pearson].

“She is excited about getting back now and working towards London [2012 Olympics].”

This is the second major controversy surrounding Whaler and the national relay squad in as many years after Athletics Australia decided not to take the women’s 4x100m team to the 2010 Commonwealth Games.

"Let's Go While We're Young"



Relay hiccup spurs on van Veenendaal

By Tim Braban
Noosa News
8th September 2011

TOOWOOMBA sprinter Charlotte van Veenendaal has returned home from the IAAF World Championship in Daegu more determined than ever to succeed on the international stage.

A member of Australia's 4x100m women's relay team, van Veenendaal admits to being hugely disappointed after she mistimed her run during the baton exchange between her and Melissa Breen in the semi-finals. After taking off too early, van Veenendaal had to slow down to give Breen the chance to pass the baton in the change-over zone.

"I was devastated and I blame myself, but the team was really supportive," van Veenandaal said. "I think competing at the top level like that is something we need to do a bit more to bridge the gap between training and competing at the Olympics."

Despite the heartbreak of missing the relay final, van Veenendaal said the whole experience of attending the world championship was something she would never forget.

"I was there when Usain Bolt broke out of the blocks and when Sally (Pearson) ran so well," van Veenendaal said. "Just the excitement of the Australian team (when Pearson won) was something I'd never experienced."

Van Veenendaal arrived back in Toowoomba on Tuesday and will take a brief holiday before returning to training ahead of the Australian Olympic trials in March next year.

"When you get to these events, you do realise the level of training you have to be at," she said

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