Archive for the ‘Track & Field’ Category

Genevieve LaCaze Grinds it at Commonwealth Games Closing Ceremony

Attractive Australian steeplechaser Genevieve LaCaze was a little more subdued this morning after crashing Kylie Minogue’s performance at last night’s Commonwealth Games closing ceremony.

LaCaze was dared to run onto the stage by Games volunteers and she took the once in a lifetime opportunity. The head-turning runner was celebrating her 25th birthday and a 5th place in her event. Kylie had left the stage for a brief costume change when the volunteers made their suggestion. Their suggestion came as Ms LaCaze is from the Gold Coast, the site of the next Commonwealth Games and the idea of a Gold Coaster welcoming the Commonwealth to our next games seemed a great idea.

Plus, was a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Ms LaCaze rushed onto the stage and started grinding to the music. This morning Ms LaCaze described herself as ‘shy’ and ‘usually a rule-follower’ Her only regret, she said, was not also grabbing the microphone and belting out a few tunes.

“I’m the one who worries about the consequences before taking the chance of doing something a little bit rebellious, but I thought, ‘It’s my 25h birthday.”

“I don’t know,” she told new.com reporters, “I find 25 a number where you’re becoming an adult really, and I thought maybe one more childish act was in me.”

Genevieve LaCaze bumps and grinds on stage at Comm Games. Photo www.dailymail.co.uk

Genevieve LaCaze bumps and grinds on stage at Comm Games. Photo www.dailymail.co.uk

was born at Mount Tamborine in the Gold Coast hinterlands. She spent her schooling years in Logan, Queensland. However, whe won a scholarship to attend University of Florida in the U.S. and has lived there since.

Genevieve studied applied physiology and kinesiology. She completed her bachelor’s degree in 2012, the same year she competed in the Olympics for Australia. It was a race she very nearly missed as she posted her qualifying time after the closing date. However, a last minute reprieve allowed her to don the green and gold.

In fact, Genevieve stumbled into the sport of steeplechase quite by accident. He college team lost their number one pick for the steeplechase at a university games event. Genevieve was asked to step in. And she fell in love with the event.

Genevieve has learned a lot from these games: She has been approached by FHM for modelling. She learned a lot about tactics – having had her race dictated to her by the seemingly unbeatable Kenyans. And she has found out that when she dances the world stops to watch.

Sally Pearson angry at lack of support from Comm Games management

The relationship between the Australian team head coach, Eric Hollingswroth, and hurdle and sprint champion, Sally Pearson, has sunk yet further.

The latest spat occurred when Pearson complained of obstructions put in place to access the team medical staff. With her highly publicized hamstring woes of this season Pearson declares she needs access to the staff (access she would have previously received without question). “I’m focusing everything I can on what I can do to win and be in the best shape possible for next weekl” she told reporters.

Eric Hollingsworth. Photo:  www.abc.net.au

Eric Hollingsworth. Photo: www.abc.net.au

Hollingsworth’s autocratic style of leadership has alienated many in the Australian camp. He was the one behind imposing fines on Pearson, Alex Rowe and discus champion Benn Harradine for skipping the team’s Newcastle camp. Hollingswort was also a vocal opponent of Pearson’s split with former coach and long-time mentor Sharon Hannan.

Since then relations between the two continued to sour. After coming second at the world indoor titles in Sopot, Poland in March Hollingsworth took Pearson aside. The ‘discussion’ did nt go well, with Pearson refusing to speak to him from hat moment on.

Pearson announced she is frustrated at the lack of support she is getting from Athletics Australia and the Commonwealth Games team management. She has elected to hold her tongue until the games are finished, preferring to concentrate on her racing.

Hollingsworth was a former British Decathlete. He was head coach of the New Zealand squad and has held the top job in Australia since 2008.

Pistorius Trial Overshadows South African Com Games Team

Oscar Pistorus. Photo: utahpeoplespost.com

Oscar Pistorus. Photo: utahpeoplespost.com

As the South African Commonwealth Games team disembarked in Glasgow they were awash with questions about the absent Oscar Pistorius. And it seems they are not shy in adding their own impressions of the man once touted as a national hero.

Pistorius captured attention by running on artificial legs and running fast. He not only gave hope to many disabled athletes, he became an icon for the ingenuity, guts and fortitude of South Africans generally.

But all that changed when he was accused of the murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

He is accused of shooting her through a toilet door in their South African home last year. The trial, a national and world sensation in its own right, is nearing its conclusion.

But many South Africans, most notably the athletes who had dealings with the man, have little sympathy for him. The general feeling is that he was loud, self-centred and prone to vicious outbursts. What made it all the more galling was the sanitized public image created for him and touted through the media. It is widely believed that many fellow Suth African athletes refused to room with Pistorius refusing to be drawn into his tantrums and quirks.

Despite being absent from the Commonwealth games team Pistorius is the most well-known and talked about member. Even with him half a world away many athletes are still in his shadow. Many are hoping the results of his trial will not overshadow their own medal efforts or, indeed, the Commonwealth Games themselves.

Pearson Undecided about 100 Flat at Commonwealth Games

 Sally Pearson is still undecided about whether or not to contest the 100 meters flat at the Commonwealth Games next month.

Competing in the Glasgow Diamond League meet over the weekend Pearson ran an ordinary time (by her standards0 of 12.87 seconds for the 100 meter hurdles. She managed to edge-out her main rival for Commonwealth games glory – Great Britain’s Tiffany Porter. But Pearson was disappointed with her performance.

Sally Pearson still looking for form. Photo: www.theaustralian.com.au

Sally Pearson still looking for form. Photo: www.theaustralian.com.au

Pearson’s best hurdles time this season has been 12.59 seconds; her best ever 12.28. The 12.87 she ran in Glasgow on the weekend is pedestrian by comparison.

As things stand now Sally Pearson is set to contest the 100 meters flat at the Glasgow Games. She will toe the line alongside Australian record holder – the flying Melissa Breen. Pearson is also pencilled in as a starter in the women’s 4×100 relay. But she is the first to admit this may all change.

Speaking of the 100 meters flat Pearson said, “I’m going to make a decision at the last minute, but I’m still trying to get there.” And the same last minute decision, one can only surmise, will also be made for the relay.

Pearson has made no secret of the fact the 100 meters hurdles are her main focus. She is the reigning Commonwealth and Olympic champion of this event and fully intends to remain so. She will do what she can to support the Australian track and Field squad in other events – if she can. But only if she knows she is running fast and completely injury free. Since the beginning of the year Sally has struggled with nagging the hamstring trouble; cutting short her build up for the Diamond League events.

Pearson Focused on Commonwealth Games

Hurdler and sprinter Sally Pearson will test her strained hamstring tomorrow when she toes the line of the 100m hurdles at Areva, in Paris. This is the eighth meet of the Diamond League series and the competition is hotting up.

In tomorrow’s draw Pearson will encounter the 2008 Olympic champion Dawn Harper-Nelson, Queen Harrison, Tiffany Porter, and Lolo Jones – all of them accomplished runners in the best form of their lives.

SallyPearson is more focused on the Commonwealth Games, to begin on July 23: “… It will have been eight weeks since my injury,” she told reporters. “So I think I’ll be in perfect shpae for it. It’s just about getting my body right, getting my rhythm back and my speed back.”

Pearson is hoping to better in her race in Paris tomorrow. She has posted only the sixth best time f the year – 12.59 in February. Since that time she has missed two Diamond League meets – Rome and new York – because of the hamstring strain.

The woman Pearson is likely to face in the final, Harper-Nelson, posted the season’s second best time of the year with a sizzling 12.54 seconds in Rome. She began her year fast and has managed to improve as the season wore on. “I think the big thing has been my start this year,” Harper-Nelson said. “I had a really good start at the nationals, and that’s really what I have to add to my race in order to drop the times.”

Tomorrow’s Diamond League track meet is bringing together the finest athletes in the world. Pascal Martinot-Lagarde will contest the 110 meter hurdles against David Oliver, Jason Richardson and Ryan Wilson. He has torn world hurdling apart this year, coming from seeming obscurity to post the second best time of the year.

Tori Bowie will take on Allyson Felix and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce in a 200 meter race that boast the crème de la crème of women’s sprinting.

Felix Sanchez, Michael Tinsley and Javier Coulson will battle it out for bragging rights in one of the most hotly contested 400 meters hurdles events in recent memory.