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Millar nabs limelight at athletics champs

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 19/03/2017

Sprinter Joseph Millar has put a couple of Olympic medallists in the shade on the final day of the national track and field championships.

Tauranga speedster Joseph Millar produced the highlight on the final day in Hamilton when powering to victory over 200m in 20.37 seconds.

The time, with a negligible tail wind, broke Chris Donaldson's 20-year-old national record of 20.42sec.

It was also well under the 20.44sec selection mark for this year's world championships in London and also met the nomination standard for the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

Millar, 24, snared a fourth national sprint double after dominating the 100m on Friday. His time over the shorter distance of 10.18sec broke the national residents record, again eclipsing a long-standing Donaldson mark.

Playing second fiddle on Sunday were Rio Olympic bronze medallists Tom Walsh and Eliza McCartney, who nevertheless won their events comfortably.

World indoor champion Walsh threw an impressive 21.51m in the second round of the men's shot put to clinch an eighth national title. It was also a new championship record - usurping his 21.11m from last year - but fell short of his 22m target.

McCartney, by her own admission, had an off day, but still cleared 4.55m to easily win the women's pole vault title for the third consecutive year. She failed in all three attempts at 4.70m.

The a high-quality women's 1500m field produced a thrilling race, with Rio Olympian Angie Petty seeing off Camille Buscomb over the final 200m.

The men's 1500 title went to Hawkes Bay's Eric Speakman.

Aucklander Zoe Hobbs added the women's 200m title to her 100m victory on Friday, recording a personal best of 23.85sec.

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