Andrew Tilley

Sydney University Elite Athlete Scholarship holder and middle-distance runner Lachlan Renshaw continued his push towards qualifying for the World Championships in Korea this year with a second place finish at the Sydney Track Classic on Saturday night at Homebush.

The Beijing Olympian finished one second behind world record-holder David Rudisha of Kenya (1min 44.81secs) in a time of 1:46:06.

Renshaw’s run was slightly slower than his personal best of 1:45:66 set in Melbourne two weeks ago (click here), but Saturday night did see Renshaw finish more than half a second closer to Rudisha than a fortnight ago.

The Bachelor of Commerce student finished in front of Olympic 1500m champion Asbel Kiprop, further highlighting his improvement as a world-class 800m runner.

“It was great coming off Melbourne two weeks ago, which was a bit of a confidence-booster,” Renshaw said. “My plan was to sit on Kiprop and I knew it would be fast.

“The home straight was OK and the back straight was pretty wet. I was a lot closer to Rudisha, one second behind him, so I’m pretty happy with that.

“And I’ll remember going past Kiprop on the back straight. It’s a good scalp to get.”

Renshaw’s next move will be to head to Perth to continue his pursuit of the A-qualifying time of 1:45:40, required for August’s World Championships in Daegu, South Korea.

His coach John Atterton believes that the 23-year-old remains on target to qualify for the world titles.

“He’s knocking on the door,” Atterton said. “Saturday’s run was a little bit down because of the weather and the cold, Rudisha himself was not up to his normal standards.

“But to get that much closer to him was a great effort. You can talk about the clock and world records, but it all boils down to how you compete.

“Although his time was slower (than Melbourne), it was a better competitive run. The programming for his development is coming along, virtually to target.”

Another nine Sydney University Elite Athlete Scholarship holders competed strongly at the Sydney Track Classic on Saturday night.

Anneliese Rubie finished 6th overall (4th Australian) in the women’s 400m in 54:12.

Alix Kennedy finished 6th (5th Australian) in the women’s discuss, with a distance of 46.98m.

James Nipperess and Lachlan Chisholm finished 9th and 10th respectively in the men’s 1500m.

Larissa Pasternatsky finished 9th in the women’s 100m.

And the Sydney University 4 x 400m women’s relay team (Lizzie Jenkins, Jacqui Fry, Jo Cubis, Erin Binks) finished in 4th place. 

Meanwhile, in the World Cross Country Championships in Punta Umbria (Spain) on Sunday, Elite Athlete Scholarship holder Hugh Williams finished 65th out of 110 competitors in the Under 20 men’s 8km in 25:26.  Williams had earlier won the national selection trial race for the championships.  

Still only 18, his performance marks him down as a future star for the club at state, national, and international level.

In further excellent news for Sydney University athletics, Lara Tamsett finishing 29th (1st  Australian) at the World Cross Country Championships in the open women’s event.  It was her fifth time representing Australia at the World Cross Country Championships and her best performance so far.