Long jumper Kerrie Perkins has another chance to qualify for the world championships this weekend in Dillingen, Germany after a disappointing start to her european campaign.
The 2006 Commonwealth silver medallist began her series of five meets with a win and a second place in the Italian towns of Donnas and Celle Ligure, but her distances of 6.37m and 6.28m were well down on the qualifying mark of 6.65m required for selction in the Australian team for the Moscow champs which begin August 10.
Last Wednesday, a top quality field turned out for the long jump at the Spitzen Leichathletik meet in Luzern with all 12 entrants over 6.50m this year. Surprisingly only two were able to make that distance in the competition. Perkins placed ninth with 6.27m behind the 6.58m leap of Latvian winner Lauma Griva.
“Luzern was disappointing. I thought it was going to be a big meet. It was a good competition and I thought everyone would jump well. But performances were down across the board.” said the Kyogle-born Perkins.
“I felt better than what the distances showed. Maybe if I had all six jumps I could have built further through the competition.” said Perkins who missed the top eight, and subsequently three further attempts, by just two centremetres.
The 34 year-old is still optimistic of her chances of achieving the qualifying distance by the 29 July closing date with Sunday’s Dillingen competition in western Germany’s Saarland region her next chance.
“My rhythm was a bit off in Luzern so I have been concentrating on that in training. It would have been good to come into Dillingen a bit fresher but maybe only having three jumps in Luzern is a good thing for this comp.”
“It’s a jumps-only meet so that’s exciting and there should be a good atmosphere. And it’s not often the focus is just on jumps.”
Stuart Rendell, her coach and partner agrees. “No-one was jumping particularly well in Luzern. Kerrie was bumped out of the top 8 by a 6.90 US girl. With a full set of jumps she would have gone top three and maybe have even won.”
“She has been in fantastic shape this european summer season. All her training data has been excellent. If the weather is kind and our moons align we should expect a good result.” said Rendell.
The Dillingen competition will see the best of Germany’s male and female jumpers assembled. German national champ Sosthene Moguenara who has a best of 6.88 this year will join five others including Melanie Bauschke (best of 6.83m) and Luzern runner-up Lisa Steinkamp (6.58m). German legend and Olympic champion Heike Drechsler holds the stadium record at 7.30m set in May 1992.
Depending on the outcome of Sunday’s competition Perkins may travel to Madrid next week for the Spanish national champs and a last ditch attempt at the all important figures of 6.65m.
“One things for sure. We are doing everything possible to get on the team, so we won’t be travelling home wondering what might have been.”