Sydney University runner Joshua Ralph missed a finals berth in the men’s 800m by .33sec when he ran third in his Commonwealth Games heat at the Carrara Athletics track on the Gold Coast this morning.
With the first two in each of the three heats and the next two fastest times going through to the final, Ralph went agonisingly close to a medal tilt.
Botswana’s Nijel Amos recorded the fastest time, winning Heat 2 in 1:45.12, to edge out Australia’s Luke Mathews (1:46.53) and Kenya’s Cornelius Tuwei (1:47.10).
Kenya’s Wycliffe Kinyamal ran 1:45.56 to win the opening heat, edging out England’s Kyle Langford (1:45.61) and Australia’s Joseph Deng (1:45.72).
Kenya’s Jonathan Kitlit won Heat 3 in 1:47.27, with Scotland’s Jake Wightman (1:47.43) and Ralph (1:47.76) making up the minor places.
New Zealand’s Brad Mathas who ran a personal best of 1:46.32 to finish fourth in Heat 1, and Cyriot Christos Dimitrio, who also ran a personal best of 1:47.82 to finish fourth in Heat 2, secured the final two places in the final to be run on
Ralph, 26 has another chance of pushing for a medal at the 2018 Games when he competes in the 4x400m relay.
With an A-Qualifying time already in his kit bag and a 2nd place at the 2018 Australian Championships, Ralph earned selection for Gold Coast in his favoured 800m event and the relay team.
Ralph, who has a Bachelor of Applied Science (Exercise & Sport Science) from the University of Sydney, represented Australia at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games. While track running is his forte, Ralph claimed lots of ‘street cred’ in winning the 2013 Balmoral Burn, a charity run over 420m up one of Sydney’s steepest streets.
This win put to rest some demons in the Burn. Competing in the 2009 event, Ralph stepped in a pothole in his warm-down after finishing fourth and snapped three ligaments in his right ankle, ending his career until he returned to competition in 2011.