Australian hammer throwers Tim Driesen and Lara Nielsen have won the national titles and gained automatic selection for the Commonwealth Games.
Australian hammer throwers Tim Driesen and Lara Nielsen are off to Glasgow for the Commonwealth Games after winning the national titles at Lakeside Stadium on Friday night.
Driesen claimed his fourth straight national crown with 67.16m, a B qualifier which proved enough to ensure automatic qualification.
He will now aim to better his “disappointing” seventh-placed finish at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi.
“That’s four in a row,” said the Victorian.
“I am so happy with that and I would love to keep that tradition going.
“It’s also a big bonus to know that I’ve done all I can to confirm my selection now and from here just focus on improving rather than chasing big throws all over the countryside in the next few weeks and months.
“I was disappointed with Delhi four years ago to be honest and I want a better finish than that.
“I’ve been on the improve since then and have a PB that could be around a medal.
“I’m going to need something bigger than 70 metres but I think I have it in me.”
Nielsen won the women’s hammer with 63.11m, shading 2010 Commonwealth Games representative Gabrielle Neighbour (62.47m) and and up-and-coming junior Alex Hulley (59.43m).
All three medallists bettered the B standard but Queenslander Nielsen gained automatic selection for Glasgow by virtue of her victory.
Defending national champion Alex Beck qualified fastest for Saturday’s 400m final, winning his semi in 46.61.
But London Olympics finalist Steve Solomon remains the man to beat after easing through his semi in 46.78.
John Steffensen, the 2006 Commonwealth champion, was third quickest in 46.96.
Sally Pearson topped the timesheets in the women’s 100m heats, clocking 11.48, with new national record holder Melissa Breen second fastest in 11.61.
Pearson is chasing a 100m flat and hurdles double at the championships.
Tim Leathart set the pace in the men’s 100m heats in 10.38.
With Henry Frayne a late withdrawal due to a groin strain, former world junior champion Robbie Crowther led the qualifiers in the men’s long jump with 7.74m.