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Patmore closes Nationals with victory
Commonwealth Games gold medallist Simon Patmore has been crowned 200m Australian champion after cruising to victory at the Australian Athletics Championships at Melbourne’s Olympic Park.
Despite battling a nasty cold in the lead up to the meet, the 23-year-old crossed the line in 23.20, ahead of South Australia’s Andrew Mathews (24.04) and Victorian Cleo Bachelor of the Year finalist Jack Swift (25.38).
With little experience across the distance Patmore won bronze in the event at the World Championships early this year and will next weekend line up for the historic Stawell Gift. But today he was just happy to compete.
“That was exhausting but I’m just happy to be running,” he said.
“The show must go on even when you’re sick and I’m pretty happy with the time.”
The stage was set for a close final between Patmore and fellow T46 athlete Gabriel Cole, who yesterday claimed the 100m title but it unfortunately was not to be, after Cole was disqualified for stepping out of his lane in the heat.
Meanwhile Madison de Rozario continued her dominance across five distances by taking out the title for the 200m wheelchair race in 33.60. Capping off a stellar weekend, it was the fourth national title for the 17-year-old, after she won the 100m, 400m and 800m as well as capturing a silver in the 1500m earlier in the meet.
“I’m really happy with how it’s all turned out this weekend considering I’m still recovering from the same injury I had leading into Worlds,” said de Rozario.
“I was hoping I could take out the 1500m this weekend as well, but Jemima Moore really surprised me at the end and it was a fantastic race the 1500m.
The real test will be in Switzerland at the Swiss Nationals. I haven’t been able to race at a full meet with a full prep in ages so I’m really hoping Switzerland will be good for me.”
Twenty-year-old Sam McIntosh snatched victory from 100m national champion Matthew Cameron in a thrilling 200m wheelchair race final. McIntosh only made his first Australian Team at the World Championships earlier this year and crossed the line in 33.96 to come agonisingly close to his personal best of 33.84.
Commonwealth gold medallist Louise Ellery was a fair way off her 6.31m personal best but proved she still has what it takes to compete at the top level after throwing 6.02m in the women’s secured shot put, while Matthew Silcocks pushed his body to its limits to take the men’s 1500m title from 800m national champion Daniel Berry and 17-year-old Jodi Elkington ran 32.25 to take line honours in the women’s 200m.
The National Championships wraps up tonight at Athletics Australia’s Athlete of the Year awards where two-time world champion Evan O’Hanlon, marathon world champion Kurt Fearnley and Simon Patmore are nominated for Male Athlete of the Year with a Disability while Louise Ellery, two-time world champion Kelly Cartwright and javelin world champion Madeleine Hogan will vie for the women’s honour.
By Rebekka Wake