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PROTRACK » GENERAL » Long-jump shootout fizzles as Watt cramps on runway

Long-jump shootout fizzles as Watt cramps on runway

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Long-jump shootout fizzles as Watt cramps on runway

By Michael Gleeson
The Age
March 18, 2013

Mitchell Watt looks on after withdrawing from the long jump
at the Perth Track Classic on Saturday. Photo: Getty Images

It was supposed to be the Olympic dream head-to-head but when Mitch Watt cramped on the runway, the silver medallist had to once more bow to his Olympic conqueror Greg Rutherford.

Rutherford, the British long jump record-holder who won gold in London, won the event at the Perth Track Classic with a modest 7.89 metres over Ghanaian Commonwealth Games medallist Ignisious Gaisah on Saturday night.

''My calf just cramped up when I got out there,'' Watt said. ''That's how I have injured myself in the past, and I wasn't going to risk the big picture of 2013 tonight.

''I'm not injured, which is one good thing to take out of it. Realistically, this cramping today will be gone soon and I will head back to Brisbane and try to establish why this has happened and how to fix it.

''It was probably a lack of discipline on my behalf, not ticking all the boxes before I compete. That comes down to diet and hydration as well. It's a bit of a wake-up call.''

Rutherford said he had also suffered cramps in the past and that he had cured his issues by increasing the magnesium in his diet.

Watt had not intended to compete at Brisbane next weekend and instead only jump in Melbourne after Easter, but he will now reconsider jumping in Brisbane.

''I'll chat to my coach and see what happens with my season. I may add in the Queensland Track Classic next week if my body allows for it to prepare to jump against Greg again at the Melbourne meet,'' he said.

Discus thrower Dani Samuels continued her impressive form, following up last week's 64-metre throws with another A-qualifying distance of 62.72 metres.

Liam Zamel-Paez, a three-time national champion who has missed most of the past two domestic seasons through injury, jumped a personal-best 2.29 metres for a B-qualifying in the high jump for this year's World Championships in Moscow.

He edged out Brandon Starc, brother of Test cricketer Mitchell and a former silver medallist at the World Youth Olympics, who cleared 2.23 metres.

Australian pole vault record-holder Alana Boyd impressed in her first competition since quitting former coach Alex Parnov and returning home to be coached by her father, Ray, a former Olympian and Commonwealth gold medal-winning pole vaulter.

Boyd cleared 4.50 to edge out former training partner Liz Parnov (4.40), but failed at her attempt at the A-qualifying height of 4.60.

"It's another B-qualifier, but I wanted more. It was a little bit rusty, to be honest,'' Boyd said.

''My preparation hasn't been great considering tough training conditions at home, but I felt good on the runway and I'm sure my velocity and other factors will come together in the next few weeks.

''Theoretically, what I have done to date and a win at nationals would be enough for selection to Moscow. I jumped higher last year and I am in no way worried that it isn't around the corner.''

British record-holder Steve Lewis won the pole vault with a jump of 4.60. Brad Walker was second with 4.50 and Steve Hooker third on 4.35.

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