Short Wins Silver on Day of Mixed Australian Results

Russell Short has won Australia’s first medal at the 2011 IPC Athletics World Championships 22 Jan 2011

Visually impaired thrower Russell Short has won Australia’s first medal at the 2011 IPC Athletics World Championships, with the six-time Paralympian heaving 14.22m to win a silver medal in the F12 shot put.

Providing a crescendo to a day of otherwise mixed results for Australia, Short, a previous winner of five World Championships medals, was joined on the podium by Russian gold medallist Vladimir Andryuschenko (14.86m) and Belarusian Siarhei Hrybanau (13.73m) who won bronze.

“I’m happy with the result but my series of throws needs a bit of work I think, I had three fouls but my 14 metre plus throw has got me over the line and that’s great,” Short said.

“Scary to think that I am heading to a seventh Paralympic campaign, if the body holds up and if I can get a couple of strong domestic seasons under my belt it is definitely something I’m looking towards.”

On the flipside, day one of competition in Christchurch (NZL) saw disappointment for Evan O’Hanlon and Hamish MacDonald.

Chasing his first of a possible five gold medals in the F37/38 long jump for athletes with cerebral palsy, O’Hanlon leapt 6.01m to claim fourth place behind Chinese gold medalist Yuxi Ma (F37), who set a new world record of 6.07m to take victory.

“I’m disappointed by the result, but its motivation for tomorrow when I will back it up in the 100m,” O’Hanlon said.

“For me long jump is my newest event and it’s the most technical out of them, it’s just really different to only running as fast as you can.”

Reigning world champion Hamish MacDonald also headed home empty handed in the F34 shot put for athletes with cerebral palsy, unable to reprise his 10.92m form displayed at a Sydney Warm-Up Meet just over a week ago. Heaving 10.18m to place sixth overall, he was eclipsed by Thierry Cibone (FRA) who set a new world record with a throw of 11.53m to win gold.

MacDonald was joined in the final by training partner Damien Bowen who finished eighth with a 9.79m best effort.

“It was a disappointing competition overall, last week showed that I can mix it with the top guys but today unfortunately was one of those days,” MacDonald said.

Joining Short in providing an Australian highlight on day one was Carlee Beattie, who improved her personal best by 0.2 seconds to 26.37 (w: -0.3) in qualifying second fastest for the T46 200m final.

Commonwealth Games gold medalist Louise Ellery also opened her World Championships campaign with a personal best heaving 15.00m for 804 points and fifth in the combined F31/32/51 secured club throw. A 1.31m improvement on her previous best mark, the result is the ideal warm up for her preferred event the F32/33/34 shot put.

“I’m quite confident for the shot put, relaxed in knowing I’ve done all that I can. I’ve been doing well in training so fingers crossed the hard yards will pay off and a world record might follow,” Ellery said.

Looking ahead to a further eight days of competition, Australian team leader Rohan Short admits mixed results are all part of international competition.

“The results today were a bit up and down, but that’s all part of competing at an international event,” Short said.

“Russell’s medal was fantastic though, he’s a veteran of the sport that just keeps delivering.”