Macfarlane magnificent in Oslo - new Australian record
Saturday, 7 June 2008
MacFarlane Magnificent in Oslo - New Australian Record
Donna MacFarlane has demolished the Australian and Oceania record in placing third in the 3000m Steeplechase at the prestigious IAAF Golden League meeting in Oslo, Norway overnight.
Her time of 9.18.35 is a personal best by almost seven seconds and whipped six seconds off the two existing records of 9.24.29 set by Melissa Rollison at the 2006 Commonwealth Games. The race was won by Russian world record holder Gulnara Samitova-Galkina in the fastest time of the world this year, 9.14.77.
MacFarlane ran a controlled race and moved through the field to lie in sixth place with two laps remaining before beginning to make her presence felt on the final lap.
With Galkina outside her own world record (9:01.59) but still with a comfortable lead, MacFarlane moved into fourth place in the finishing straight. Had she not clipped the final barrier with her knee, she would have been added to her list of scalps, the world champion Volkova, who just held the Tasmanian off for second by a tiny margin (.11seconds).
“It’s not often that I get outsprinted to the line, but I had the world champion in my sights and I was a bit eager to beat her. In the end I hit my knee and was lucky to stay on my feet,” MacFarlane said after the race.
The Oslo meeting has produced some of the world’s greatest best distance running performances and Athletics Tasmania President, Brian Roe said that the performance from MacFarlane was genuinely world class,
"We should not get too far ahead of ourselves but Donna's run obviously puts her in real contention for the Olympics. In the hottest field yet assembled for a women's steeple on the world circuit, she has recorded a massive personal best and has beaten everyone bar the world record holder and the world champion."
As a result of last night, the TIS athlete of the year is now the eighth fastest female of all time in the 3000m Steeplechase.
Following the recent passing of her coach Max Cherry, TIS Track & Field Performance Co-ordinator Peter Fortune, who coached Cathy Freeman to gold at the Sydney Olympics, has been guiding the Mt Neilson mother of two.
“It was special for me to run well in Oslo because Max was here with me last year,” MacFarlane said.
She will travel back to her family at their European base in Belgium tomorrow and will face a proud homecoming. Husband Marty MacFarlane is excited about the future, “her best is yet to come. She can still run faster.”
Full result below.
For further enquiries and to arrange video broadcasts from the event, please contact;
Richard Welsh - 03 6234 9551 / 0409 820 248
Brian Roe – 0438 604 571
End of release
Bislett Games Oslo (NOR) - Friday, Jun 06, 2008 3000 Metres Steeplechase - W
Official Results - Women - 3000 Metres Steeplechase
Ruth Bisibori Nyangau
Mercy Wanjiku Njoroge