Fabrice Lapierre leaps into a long jump silver medal
Dani Samuels has been there before and won when no one expected. So amid the pessimism of Australia’s medal hopes at the World Championships she provided one of the not unreasonable hopes.
In the end Samuels nibbled at the lead pack but was unable to find the throw that would get her the medal she wanted. She finished sixth with a best of 63.14m.
“I didn’t really throw the best, I can admit, but I feel like I have come a long way since Moscow and then to finish sixth in the world is pretty good. While I am disappointed at the moment I think in a few days time it will be ok,” Samuels said.
On Monday she clattered her first throw into the cage … then made the final.
On Tuesday she thew her first attempt like a Nathan Lyon off-spinner and it went a couple of cricket pitches away … then she made the final cut.
She had ground to make up on Cuban star Denia Caballero who set the benchmark with an imperious 69.28m opening throw of the night, but at least in the final eight she would still have a chance.
After her first fluffed throw Samuels responded with 62.9m and 63.08m which was enough to get her through to the final eight — something she had not achieved at a World Championships since she won gold in Berlin. In both Daegu in 2011 and Moscow two years ago she finished tenth and missed the final eight cut.
Once through to the final group she managed to keep in the same 62-63m range but it was not as far as she needed, pulling up at 63.08m.
“I think I was trying a bit too hard. I was trying to throw a long way. The last one felt better but at the end fell apart.
“It was a really high-quality competition. The Cuban girl came out and threw 69 in he first round. I was disappointed I couldn’t get up around the 65.5 which it took to get a bronze medal so, look, all in all I feel like I have come a long way since Moscow. It is my best result in a World Champs other than 2009.”
Samuels has regularly thrown over 65 metres in Diamond League competitions in Europe this year but she could not find those extra few metres in Beijing.
“I have been consistent at 64 and a half plus to 65 plus. I was trying to draw on some experiences I had in the Diamond Leagues where I hadn’t been feeling the best or things had happened and I had still been able to throw 65 but I think I was just trying too hard and it was all left to that last throw and it didn’t happen so this year I finished sixth.
“I felt really powerful. My arm felt wicked on one of them but it just didn’t happen so I guess it is just the rhythm and the timing was out.”
Denia Caballero won gold with that first up 69.28m, bettering Croatia’s Olympic champion Sandra Perkovic who won silver with 67.39m, leaving Germany’s Nadine Muller for bronze with 65.53m.
On the track, Anneliese Rubie ran the second quickest time of her life but it was not enough to get through to the final of the 400 metres at the World Championships.
The emerging star ran 52.04s a day after breaking 52 seconds for the first time to make the semi-final. Rubie ran well but finished last in her semi.
The 23-year-old had run three successive personal bests this month leading into and during the World Championships, culminating in her 51.69s run on Monday in her heat. Before Monday her best run was 52.20s.