Eleanor Patterson may not get the chance to defend her Commonwealth women’s high jump title.The job of selecting the n track and field team for the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games just got a whole lot harder.
Which is a good thing.
The newly-laid track at Carrara Stadium was a key factor in a host of fast times from sprinters Trae Williams, Riley Day and Alex Hartmann.
The likes of Brittany McGowan, Luke Mathews and Ryan Gregson were impressive in the middle-distance events.
And the big names like Sally Pearson and Dani Stevens delivered – as they always do.
At the conclusion of the four-day trials, 57 of the 88 Games spots available for able-boded athletes were locked in, leaving 31 to the discretion of selectors.
The Athletics (AA) hierarchy have made no secret of their wish to select squads in all four relays, although the men’s 4x400m is looking very shaky.
The men’s 800m presents the biggest poser of all.
Mathews and Josh Ralph secured two of the three vacancies on offer by finishing first and second in the final on Saturday.
But highly-promising 19-year-old Joe Deng complicated matters.
Despite not even qualifying for the final, he won the B race in one minute 45.71 seconds, quicker even than Mathews’ gold-medal run in the national title race.
So does that take precedence over the efforts of Peter Bol and Jeff Riseley, who also have A qualifiers and ran in the final?
“That’s a tricky one and will be the crux of our discussion,” said chairman of selectors Dion Russell.
“We’ve been talking about it all day and throwing out some different scenarios.”
Russell admitted that the large number of athletes to have bettered the A and B qualifying marks increased the likelihood there would be appeals once the full squad was announced on Thursday.
“There are always some athletes who fall on the wrong side of the line, because the line has to be drawn somewhere,” he said.
“The key is to have open communication with the athletes.
“We’ve been talking to a lot of athletes this weekend who want to know where they stand, what do they have to do, what are the consequences if they don’t run, what factors will be taken into consideration?
“I think some of them understand it better than others.”
Eleanor Patterson may not get the chance to defend her Commonwealth women’s high jump title.
Patterson has long shunned full funding from AA, preferring instead to keep training with her longtime coach David Green in the Victorian country town of Leongatha.
Patterson could manage no better than 1.83m in Sunday’s final – 13cm shy of her personal best.
But trials winner Cassie Purdon did not meet the selection criteria.
London Olympics 400m finalist Steve Solomon’s decision to skip the trials and continue training in the United States looks like a clever one, as no-one went close to the A standard and he had previously bettered it.
The full n squad of 111 will include 23 para-athletes.