AUSTRALIAN JOSHUA ROSS :cool: is an Aboriginal sprinter following rapidly in the footsteps of 2003 world’s fastest man, Patrick Johnson . . . kk

22 January 2005 | 10.03pm

Sprint sensation Josh Ross and West Australian pole vaulter Paul Burgess stole the show at today’s Perth Telstra A-series at Perry Lakes Stadium, both achieving World Championship A-qualifying standards.

Ross, in just his second season on the track (after coming from the pro ranks last year), looked like a natural - strong and smooth - and crossed the line in a new personal best of 10.12, with a legal wind of 1.1m/s.

“Woooh… that’s how it feels” screamed an elated Ross post race.

“I didn’t tell anyone, but my goal was to run a World Championships qualifier… it was the best race of my life… everything fell into place… it was just beautiful!”

The surprise packet in the event was former 400m runner Daniel Batman, who also set a World Championships A-qualifying time, of 10.19. In third place was Cameroon’s Joseph Batangdon with 10.20, while Matt Shirvington, in his first race back on home soil, clocked 10.32 for fifth place.

Olympic finalist Paul Burgess had the crowd behind him at every leap, urging him over the bar, in hope he would surpass the elusive 6metre mark. Burgess was short of the magical barrier, but was impressive none the less, clearing 5.80metres, a World Championships A qualifier.

Burgess last weekend set a new personal best of 5.91metres, the highest jumped on Australian soil, and he showed all the signs of doing it again, but unfortunately missed three attempts at 5.95m.

Fellow Olympian Steve Hooker took second place, with 5.60metres, after missing three attempts at his personal best height, and the World Championships qualifying height of 5.75m. Dmitri Markov finished third bowing out after clearing 5.45m. Luke Vedelago also cleared 5.45m.

Other highlights from the Perth Telstra A-series include:

  • World junior bronze medallist, long jumper John Thornell was unlucky with the wind, the 19-Year-old cracking the 8m mark, leaping a massive 8.06m - but with an illegal wind of 2.8m/s. In second place was Tim Parravicini (AIS) with 7.79m (w:2.1m/s)
  • One of WA’s best emerging track athletes, 18-year-old Ben Offereins, set a new personal best in the 400m, clocking 46.51, showing he is definitely one to keep watching.