Strong showing despite elimination for young Victorian, writes James Sullivan.
It was a case of so near and yet so far for long jumper Brooke Stratton at the World Championships in Beijing this morning. The Australian jumped 6.64m in the qualifying rounds, placing her a highly credible 14th overall. Unfortunately her efforts weren’t enough to reach the final, finishing an agonising four centimetres down on the twelfth and final qualifier.
“I didn’t feel too bad out there,” remarked Stratton, who was competing in her debut major senior championship. “6.64 was all I could do on the day. Four centimetres short of making the final, which was my goal, so I’m little bit disappointed. But at the end of the day, coming 14th in the world championships at 22 years old is something I’m pretty excited about.”
The Victorian athlete was the first of all athletes to jump this morning, and admitted to getting off to a slow start, with leaps of 6.57m and 6.55m in her opening two jumps, before finding that bit extra on her final effort. “It took me a little while to get into it. My first two jumps were a little bit flat. It was a little bit daunting. It was my first senior international competition and I was first jumper. But I think it was fine. I was ready to go.”
With her first major championship experience under her belt, the Athletics Nunawading athlete, who has a PB of 6.73m, believes she can mix it with the very best in the world going forward. “You don’t really know what you are up against until you get out there and actually take in the atmosphere and are around the best long jumpers in the world. You sort of watch them warm up, you watch their routines and you compare it to yours, and you see little similarities. When I look at the results from today, it just shows that I’m right up there with them. If I had got a 6.70 jump out I would have been in the final.”
Away from her own competition, the Melbourne based athlete also spoke of how she has felt privileged to be part of the Australian team in Beijing and has learnt a great deal from the experience. “It has been awesome. There are so many amazing athletes on this Australian team, and you learn so much from everyone. It’s just awesome being around such high profile athletes.”