Mark 10 April 2018 as a most famous day in the annuals of our great club. For today we celebrate and salute the three fine young men representing themselves, their families, their country and their club, SKAAC, for making the Commonwealth Games 800m Final after stellar Heat runs this morning.
Joseph Deng 3rd in Heat 1 with 1:45.72 and Brad Mathas a few steps away in 4th with a PB of 1:46.32 had an agonising 10 minute wait to find out that they would advance to the 800m as the only 2 non-automatic fastest qualifers. Joseph ran on pace for the entire race holding second position for all bar the last 20 metres when just overtaken by a English competitor, this was a fantastic run for 19 y.o. Joseph after some recent challenges that tested his immense courage. Brad Mathas was arguably the fastest athlete over the last 200m in Heat 1, jumping 3 spots and flashing home for 4th place and a PB by 0.12 of-a-second. What these two young men have sacrificed in the last 2 years is an amazing story in itself, moving from Brisbane and Christchurch (NZ) to train under master coach Justin Rinaldi.
JR is a wonderful servant of SKAAC and this result from Heat 1 is testament to his knowledge and commitment to each of his athletes. Well Done JR – what your athletes achieved today is stuff of Legend.
Luke Mathews faced a stacked Heat 2, with Nigel Amos and friends for company, a daunting prospect by anyone’s standards. Luke was challenged strongly when the paced quickened in the last 300m and held his position with great strength and conviction. Pulling away strongly in the last 50 metres to qualify easily in 1:46.53. Luke’s coach and mum, Liz has done a fantastic job to get Luke into this position after a dominant Australian season.
Mention must also be made of Kasique Oliver of St. Vincent and the Grenadines who in running 1:51.55 season best performance, is definitely owed a debt of gratitude by SKAAC for heeding our race instructions for the 3rd Heat to the letter… “Go out hard and put the handbrake on, with a first lap in about 54 sec.” Kasique, the SKAAC President owes you big time!
So there it is, SKAAC with 3 out of 8 of the finalists in the Mens 800m at a Commonwealth Games. We all now anxiously await the final, due to be run on Thursday night at 10:13pm.
Is it too cheeky to call the final on Thursday night the SKAAC 800m Club Championship? 🙂