The 19-year-old Eleanor Patterson (Vic) is the toast of Australian athletics tonight, after placing an impressive eighth in the final of the women’s high jump at the IAAF World Championships.
The youngest ever Australian athlete to advance to the last round of competition at a world title event, Patterson’s performance of 1.92m provides the ideal taste of what is to come from the already crowned Commonwealth Games and IAAF World Youth Championships gold medallist, as the Rio 2016 Olympic Games fast approach.
Patterson is a hard taskmaster on herself, and tonight is disappointed by her effort believing she was capable of more. She understands, however, that the lessons learned here will bode well for the future and that her dedication together with coach, David Green, have been rewarded by simply advancing to the final.
“I expect a lot of myself. David and I have worked really, really hard and it just didn’t come together. I was trying to relax, and I did, but it wasn’t enough. It’s disappointing,” Patterson said.
“The last couple of jumps were frustratingly close, but that’s the way this sport is.
“Obviously I’m upset at the moment, but you have to look on the positive side to be able to move forward and I’ll do that in the coming days. I’m going to work twice as hard to be better for the Olympics, and believe me I already work hard.
“I’m so lucky to have an amazing coach in David, he’s an amazing friend. I’m so lucky to have my family who constantly support me, I’m truly blessed. I’ll just go away and regroup with them.”
Based in Leongatha, in rural Victoria, Patterson’s placing of 8th and clearance of 1.92m at Beijing 2015 is the best ever by an Australian in the women’s high jump at an IAAF World Championships. She is the first Australian woman to make a high jump final at the Olympic Games or world titles since Vanessa Ward, the national record holder, at the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona (ESP).
The gold medal was won by Maria Kuchina (RUS) with a personal best of 2.01m, with Blanka Vlasic (CRO) winning silver and Anna Chicherova (RUS) the bronze.
The Australian Flame was also represented in the men’s discus final, with national record holder Benn Harradine (Qld) and Glasgow 2014 finalist Julian Wruck (Qld) taking to the thrower’s circle. Hitting best efforts of 62.01m and 60.01m respectively, the green and gold duo placed 10th and 12th respectively.
Rounding out the Australians in action tonight were Allan Cook (Vic), Julie Forster (NSW) and Gianna Mogentale (NSW), competing in exhibition masters events. Clocking 2:05.59, Cook placed sixth in the men’s 800m, with Forster (1:02.54) and Mogentale (1:04.96) crossing fourth and sixth respectively in the women’s 400m.
The IAAF World Championships will conclude tomorrow, with five Australian Flame athletes to compete. Sarah Klein (Vic), Julia Degan (NSW) and Sinead Diver (Vic) leads things off in the women’s marathon, before Eloise Wellings (NSW) and Brandon Starc (NSW) compete in the final of the women’s 5000m and men’s high jump respectively.
For more information on the IAAF World Championships, including results and entry lists, please click here to visit iaaf.org.
For more information on the Australian Flame, including the team media guide, please click here to visit athletics.com.au.
For information about the Australian broadcast of the IAAF World Championships, please click here to visit athletics.com.au/broadcast.