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Tasmanian State Championships day 1 and Thomas takes his biggest scalp ever

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28 February 2009

State Championships Day 1 and Thomas Takes his Biggest Ever Scalp

Day 1 of the Tasmanian Track & Field Championships took place in St Leonards today and Tristan Thomas beat the World 400m Hurdles Champion in Sydney.

Gareth Jubb and Abby Chapman won the titles of fastest Tasmanian’s, with victories in the 100m final. Both athletes have performed well in professional races this season with victories in TAL events, now capped off with Tasmanian crowns. Jubb won a close battle against North Launceston pair Monbo Jetoh and Jo Lowe, to win in 11.19. Chapman’s winning time was 12.51sec ahead of Danielle Taylor and Mel Street.

Rebecca Direen became one of the youngest state champions on file, with a shot put victory thanks to a best put of 11.14m.

Sam Ferguson won his first state title in the men’s 1500m ahead of Josh Harris in a very tactical race. His time of 4.01min was not fast, but it was a tactical race in which times meant little. Mel Daniels took out the women’s event with 4.40.

Tristan Thomas has achieved some record breaking performances this season, but last night he scored the biggest win of his career.

With the ink still drying on the state record he set last weekend in Canberra, Thomas went one better last night, beating the current world champion, Bershawn Jackson of the USA at the Sydney Track Classic.

For Thomas, his time of 48.86sec was his fourth consecutive personal best this year. He also becomes only the second Australian ever to run under 49sec, with Rohan Robinson the national record holder at 48.28sec. His performance is also a new state record and gives the 22 year old his second world championships ‘A’ qualifier.

The win was convincing by Thomas, as Jackson clocked 49.06 and the current Commonwealth Champion LJ VanZyl of South Africa who placed third in 50.42sec.

Thomas isn’t getting carried away with himself however, acknowledging that his international counterparts were in different phases of their training. “In the end, it probably worked out as well as it could have done for me.

Jackson is in winter training and he had a few errors on the backstraight, so I was happy that I held my nerve and could get someone of that calibre.”

Given the event is so technical, the TIS athlete is still looking for ways in which he can slice even more time off his efforts. “I’m making the same errors every week, but I’m just getting better at dealing with them,” insisted Thomas.

His next chance will be on Thursday when he lines up at the World Athletics Tour meeting in Melbourne.

Full results from Day 1 of the Tasmanian Championships is on and the full results from the Sydney Track Classic are available from

Contact: Richard Welsh – 03 6234 9551 or 0409 820 248

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