New Zealand discus thrower Siositina Hakeai went within a whisker of claiming a Commonwealth Games bronze medal tonight.
The 24-year-old New Zealander finished fourth with a best throw of 57.16, achieved in the third round. That would have been good enough for a medal but for Indian Davjeet Dhillon’s final-round throw of 57.43m. So instead of a medal, she repeated her Glasgow 2014 effort of fourth.
The event was won by Australian Dani Stevens with a whopper throw of 68.28m, which was a Commonwealth Games record.
Hakeai’s sequence of throws was 56.00m, 55.19m, 57.16m, 56.94m, 53.86m, 56.96m.
The New Zealander seemed philosophical afterwards.
She said about 12 weeks ago she had been a little “lost”, but a new coach has helped her regain her focus and enjoyment of athletics.
“I have made a lot of technical changes in a short time. It’s a lot to ask,” she said. “But 12 weeks ago I would never have thought I would be out here competing, so this was a great feeling.”
She said she felt she might have tightened up because she was in third position, but vowed to return to the Commonwealth Games and grab that elusive medal.
New Zealand pole vaulter Nick Southgate did not manage to clear a height in the pole vault and was eliminated.
He made three attempts at 5.20m and, though he had the height, he seemed to have some problems with his run-up and could not get his timing right.
Brad Mathas finished fifth in the 800m final. Mathas, who qualified with a personal best of 1min 46.32s, ran above himself in the final. Though he didn’t have the pace to match the real speedsters in the field, he still ran 1min 46.07s, so lopped off another chunk from his personal best.
The race was won by Kenyan Wycliffe Kenyamal in 1min 45.11s.
Mathas said afterwards he was pleased with his effort, even if he had come up short of a medal. "I was hoping for a medal. It was a high goal because I was probably ranked eighth going into the final," he said.
"I have no regrets about the way I raced. I took it to them, and I think I've shown I can run in championship races."Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Siositina Hakeai Nick Southgate Brad Mathas