Sydney University middle distance runner Lachlan Renshaw recorded one of the biggest wins of his career on Sunday when he won the final of the 800m at the World University Summer Games in Shenzhen, China.
Click here for highlights of the race.
Renshaw breasted the tape in 1:46.36 to win the gold medal, ahead of China’s Haining Teng (1:46.62) and Kenya’s Fred Samoei (1:46.72). It was a bittersweet win for the 24-year-old, who only learned recently that he had missed out on a berth at the 2011 World Championships, which will take place in Daegu, Korea, later this month.
“I got the gold medal. The last thing my coach said to me was to run my own race. I timed my run perfectly. Lucky I put my best race on the track today,” said Renshaw.
“It is a stepping stone towards next year. I need to lower my times, I want to do more than just run, I want to be a major competitor. I proved today that I am a championship racer.”
Renshaw, who is also the Australian men’s team captain at the Games, won the Australian 800m championship in 2008 and 2010 and was runner-up in 2009 and again this year. He also won the Brisbane Track Classic in 2010 and was the Balmoral Burn champion from 2006-10.
He also holds the Australian 600m record of 1:15.14, set in 2010 and the NSW Under 20 men’s 800m record of 1:47.00, set 2006.
Renshaw is a Sydney University Sports scholar and member of the Elite Athlete Program. He progressed to the final round of the 800m at the 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games, but injury forced him to withdraw from the final. He competed at the 2007 World University Games in Bangkok, Thailand, and the 2009 Games at Belgrade, Serbia, where he finished fifth.
In other World University Summer Games news, Sydney University athletes Alexandra South (silver) and Katie-Rae Ebzery (bronze) have joined Renshaw and Prashanth Sellathurai (gold) as medalists at this year’s Games.
Alexandra South picked up a sailing silver medal in the team laser radial category for Australia. She had earlier pulled out of the fleet racing event to concentrate on team’s racing.
In basketball, Katie-Rae Ebzery has helped lead the Australian women’s team to a 66-56 bronze medal play-off victory against Sweden. The girls were defeated by the USA in the semi-finals 79-67, after having remained undefeated during the group stages and quarter final games.
Sydney University athletes have now contributed four of the 15 medals won by the Australian World University Summer Games team – a phenomenal effort.
The Australian women’s water polo team, represented by Keesja Gofers, Georgia Clarke, Alicia Brightwell and captain Lea Barta, were defeated by Italy in their quarter final 4-3. Gofers scored two goals and Barta made a host of fine saves amongst a losing team. The girls then bounced back to defeat Great Britain 11-6 in a 5-9th place playoff game. Barta, who made an astonishing 15 saves, and Gofers, who scored four goals, were standouts. Clarke also chipped in with two goals.
In men’s water polo, the Australian team was also defeated in their quarter-final. The team, which includes Lachlan Hollis and Scott Nicholson, went down in the penalty shoot out 4-3. This was after scores were locked at 7 all at full-time and 9-9 after extra time. Hollis scored one goal. In the 5th-9th place play-off the men were then defeated 12-10 by France. Hollis once again got on the score sheet.
Other Sydney University EAP scholarship holders competing in Shenzhen include: James Nipperess, Anneliese Rubie (athletics), Alexander Wong (cycling), Nicholas Davies (fencing), Alex Rogers (volleyball) are Sydney University athletes competing at the Games.