Report20 Dec 2020

Weekend round-up: Moloney breaks Oceania decathlon record with 8492 in Brisbane


Australian decathlete Ash Moloney (© Getty Images)

Updated: 20 Dec - 19:00 CET

Ash Moloney broke the Oceania Area decathlon record on Sunday (20), tallying 8492 points at the Queensland Combined Events Championships in Brisbane.

Moloney, who turned 20 on 13 March, added two points to the record set by another Australian, Jagan Hames, in September 1998, and shattered his own personal best of 8103 set in Townville last year.

Moloney was on a tear on day one, collecting 4613 points, and his roll continued as he opened the second day with a 14.17 performance in the 110m hurdles, a personal best by 0.07 worth 953 points. He then threw the discus 43.93m with his final attempt, another lifetime best, for a 6311 total after seven events.

He continued with a 4.80m clearance in the pole vault before setting another personal best in the ninth event, the javelin throw, where he reached 57.77m to add 1.58m to his previous best.  

That left the 2018 world U20 champion with 7864 points going into the 1500m, where he needed to run 4:48.70 to claim the Area record. He did that with a few strides to spare, crossing the line in 4:48.48 to end 2020 with the year's second best best performance.

Moloney came just 54 points shy of the 2020 world lead of 8552 set by world record holder Kevin Mayer on the French island of Reunion on Saturday, who was quick to acknowledge the rising star's talent.

"I'll burn him off," Mayer told the AFP after learning of Moloney's first day points spree on Saturday. "A decathlon lasts two days but he's unbelievable. He's light years ahead of me at that age, and even now. I like the challenge from these young guys but I'm going to try to hold on to my territory."

Underscoring Australia's depth in the event at the moment, Cedric Dubler finished second with 8367 points, a lifetime best by 138 points that also bettered the 8350 Tokyo Olympic qualifying standard.


Hall clocks 2:20:32 to win The Marathon Project

Sara Hall took an impressive victory at The Marathon Project, an elite-only race in Chandler, Arizona, on Sunday (20), clocking 2:20:32.

Running over a flat 4.3 mile loop course, Hall knocked nearly a minute-and-a-half from her previous lifetime best of 2:22:01 she recorded at the London Marathon 11 weeks ago where she finished second.

Hall, 37, was targeting Deena Kastor's US record of 2:19:36, and was on schedule through 25 kilometres, reached in 1:22:43. But she fell off the pace over the next five kilometre stretch. She nonetheless ended the race as the second fastest US marathoner of all-time.

Keira D'Amato was second in 2:22:56 with Kellyn Taylor, who ran with Hall for much of the first half, drifting back to third in 2:25:22. Emma Bates was next, clocking 2:25:40.

The race, announced in September to provide one final marathon opportunity in 2020 for mostly US elite runners, was the first larger scale professional marathon contest in the US since the Olympic Trials races in late February. Fifty elite women and 50 elite men were allowed entry.

Martin Hehir won the men's race in 2:08:59, leading the next six finishers to sub-2:10 performances.

Noah Droddy was second in 2:09:09 with Colin Bennie third in 2:09:38. Scott Fauble was next, clocking 2:09:42.


19 December

Moloney tallies 4613 on first day of Queensland decathlon championship

World U20 decathlon champion Ash Moloney blasted to a 4613 point first day tally at the Queensland Combined Events Championships in Brisbane on Saturday (19).

Competing in his first decathlon of the year, the 20-year-old produced lifetime bests in four of the day's five events, beginning with a 10.36 clocking in the 100m, 0.05 better than his previous best set in Gotzis last year. 

He then sailed 7.67m in the long jump, a 13cm improvement on his lifetime best set in 2018. He reached 13.62m in the shot put before topping 2.11m in the high jump to add a centimetre to his previous best set at the world U20 championships in Tampere, Finland, in 2018 before capping the day with a sensation 45.82 run in the 400m, the third fastest performance ever in a decathlon. Only Olympic champions Ashton Eaton (45.00) and Bill Toomey (45.68) have covered the distance faster.

His day one score of 4613 points is the 12th best opening day tally ever.

Moloney, who turned 20 on 13 March, has a personal best of 8103 points set in Townville in June 2019. He's clearly on track to smash that and to threaten the Australian national record of 8490 points set by Jagan Hames in September 1998, a year-and-a-half before Moloney was born.

Gill beats Walsh in Auckland

Jacko Gill notched a rare shot put victory over domestic rival Tom Walsh at the Daikin Night of 5s in Auckland on Friday (18).

Gill, a two-time world U20 champion, opened with a 20.74m effort before improving to 21.05m in the second round, ultimately the farthest throw of the night. 

Walsh, the 2017 world champion, had a best of 20.14m in round five. Both throwers came into the competition after a heavy training phase.

“It is definitely nice to get the win and it was a good start to the season," Gill told Athletics New Zealand. "I was hoping for a little more in terms of distance but we are all in different training phases at the moment, so it’s a little tricky to work out who is where.”

Bob Ramsak for World Athletics

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