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State record and 'A' qualifier for Thomas (Athletics Tasmania)

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MEDIA RELEASE

22 February 2009

State Record and ‘A’ qualifier for Thomas

Tristan Thomas continued his red hot form today in Canberra, clocking a World Championships ‘A’ qualifier and breaking the Tasmanian 400m hurdles record.

Running at the ACT Championships, Thomas clocked 49.25sec, to equal the ‘A’ qualifying mark and take 1/100th of a second off Simon Hollingsworth state record, which dated back to the 29th February, 1996.

Speaking from the nation’s capital, the AIS and TIS scholarship holder was over the moon. “It means more to me than the 400m did. I guess the 400m wasn’t really the goal, as I was still doing 400m hurdles, so to do it in the event that I am wanting to do means heaps,” said Thomas, referring to his run over the ‘flat’ 400m last month where he also bettered the state record previously held by Hollingsworth.

Though he hit six of the ten hurdles in today’s race, it was a massive new personal best, taking almost half a second off his winning time from last month’s Briggs Athletics Classic in Hobart. His new personal best of 49.25sec now has him sitting 4th on the Australian all time list. “To jump all these guys including Simon and to get the state record in the process is really pleasing. I think it’s going to take a little while for that to sink in, as there is some pretty good company on that list,” the Sandy Bay athlete added.

The timing of good form is sensational for Thomas, as the three biggest meets of the Australian domestic season all occur in the next month. Next Saturday at the Sydney Track Classic, he will face USA’s World Champion Bershawn Jackson and South African Commonwealth Champion LJ Van Zyl who have personal bests of 48.02 and 48.22 respectively. “I’ve got to race a few big guys in the coming weeks and while I have dreamt of beating these guys, I needed a decent run on the board before I could believe it.”

Today’s performance ads to the two ‘B’ qualifiers that Thomas has produced this season over the 400m hurdles, for the 12th World Championships in Athletics in Berlin, Germany from August 15 – 23 this year. He is joined by 3000m Steeplechaser Donna MacFarlane as the only Tasmanians to have qualifiers at this stage.

Contact: Richard Welsh – 03 6234 9551 or 0409 820 248 www.tasathletics.org.au

End of release

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