Robinson races into 5000m final
18 August 2016
ATHLETICS: Brett Robinson has produced a super run in tough conditions to qualify for the final of the men’s 5000m.
On another hot morning at the Olympic Stadium, Robinson finished ninth in his heat in 13 minutes 22.81 seconds – faster than the winning time in heat one – to qualify for the final.
The last Australian to make the men’s 5000m final was Craig Mottram at the 2004 Athens Games.
“That was the perfect pace for me,” a jubilant Robinson said after the race.
“Any slower and I don’t quite have the kick but if everyone’s a bit tired I can keep up and finish pretty well.
“I’ve had a good six weeks leading into this so I knew I was in good shape.
“You never know once you get into the race but luckily I’m going in the right direction
“The hard thing with these finals is they usually go quick and slow, quick and slow, and it just tires you out … but I’ve done a lot of that in training.
“You’ve just got to hopefully recover as good as you can and keep up as long as you can and if you have good day anything can happen.”
Fellow Australian Patrick Tiernan also ran a great race in heat two to place 13th in 13:28.48 to rank 20th while Sam McEntee also missed a place in the final after finishing 18th in heat one in 13:50.55 to finish 35th overall.
Tiernan, the 21-year-old Olympic debutant, at one stage led the pack but was unable to maintain his kick over the final stages.
Still, it was a race to remember for the youngster.
“It’s exactly what you dream about,” Tiernan said of his Olympic experience.
Robinson’s result continued Australia’s strong performances in the distance events, with Eloise Wellings, Genevieve LaCaze and Madeline Hills all qualifying for the women’s 5000m final.
In the women’s 800m, Selma Kajan finished seventh in her heat in 2:05.20 to miss a place in the final.
“I’m over the moon to be here. I just wanted to take that experience and hopefully use it for the future,” Kajan said.
“Unfortunately I was unwell coming into the competition, Sunday night I just picked up a virus and I just couldn’t shake it.
“It zapped the energy out of me , but I wasn’t going to let that stop me competing.
“I wanted to be an Olympian.”