Ross 10.08 Aussie title No.4

5.95 leap for Walker, 10.08 dash victory for Ross - Australian Champs Day 2
Saturday 10 March 2007
Brisbane, Australia - Josh Ross is stylish and understated in everything he does away from the track, but put him onto the fast lane and he is electrifying. To emphasise the point, the big Sydney sprinter ran the fastest time ever by an Australian on home soil to win his fourth consecutive 100m title at the 85th Australian Championships - and then performed a victory dance he called “the electric boogaloo”.

Ross improves to 10.08

World-leading 5.95m for Brad Walker in Brisbane
(Getty Images)

“I’m definitely looking to do it again in Japan (at the World Championships in Osaka). I’m looking to ‘bust me the robot’ again. I think I’m the only athlete in the world who does it,” Ross, 26, said after winning the race in a personal best 10.08 (+1.9m/s), a World A-qualifier to back up the 10.10 (+1.7) he ran in his semi two hours earlier.

Ross defeated fellow indigenous Australian, the national record-holder Patrick Johnson (10.27) convincingly in the final, although Johnson had threatened with an Osaka A-qualiying 10.21 in their semi-final. Adam Miller, Johnson’s training partner at the Australian Institute of Sport, won the other semi in 10.17 (+0.9) but finished third in the final in 10.29, ahead of Melbourne junior Aaron Rouge-Serret (10.39).

In the comical post-race routine which has won over Australian crowds in recent seasons, Ross mimicked what he termed “electric currents through my arms and finished off with the heart beat” which broke the tension of the final and brought gales of laughter from the large audience.

Sally McLellan en route to her third 100m national title in Brisbane
(Getty Images)

He may play the clown, but 84kg and 185cm tall Ross is nobody’s fool. He was angry at missing the Melbourne Commonwealth Games 100m final in March last year and then took the risk of switching coaches from Tony Fairweather, who had guided him to three national titles and a semi-final berth at the 2005 World Championships in Helsinki, and moving to relatively unknown Sydneysider, Emil Rizk.

“I’d love to have been in this shape at the Commonwealth Games,” said Ross, who managed only 10.28 and watched from the grandstand as Asafa Powell won the final in 10.03 from Olusoji Fasuba (10.11) and Marc Burns (10.17).

"I was devastated to miss the Games final, but I’ve got bigger and better things on my horizon now. My training now is totally different than before, it’s so much more intense. I’m working harder than ever in my life.

Lisa Corrigan leading Sarah Jamieson en route to her 1500m victory in Brisbane
(Getty Images)

"I’ve got to take my hat off to the World record-holder and the top guys. They’re so fit and I understand that now. I don’t believe I’m fully fit yet. I’m only about 70 per cent fit.

“But tonight I basically showed I can keep backing up the fast runs. That’s what you’ve got to do against the world. I think this performance shows my potential. It shows that I can be, not just with them, but in front of them.”

He intends to back up and contest the 200m on Sunday in which there will be another much-anticipated showdown with Johnson, a 200m finalist at the Helsinki World Championships.

Walker steals world lead with 5.95

American Brad Walker was superb in winning the Australian Pole Vault title with a great second-attempt clearance of 5.95m, the world’s leading leap this year and an Osaka A-qualifier of course. He opened at 5.70m which he cleared at his second attempt, then passed to 5.80m which he also made on the second effort.

Australian Steve Hooker (5.50) and another American, Toby Stevenson (tied for second also at 5.50m) and World No.2 merit ranked Australian Paul Burgess (5.35m) were disappointed at being reduced to mere spectators as Walker failed in three attempts at 6.04m.

McLellan cruises to third 100m title

The perfect conditions also favoured local Queenslander Sally McLellan who won her third 100m title in a personal best 11.23 (+1.8), a World Championships A-qualifier which broke the national championships meet record of 11.25 set in 1997 by Australian record-holder Melinda Gainsford-Taylor.

McLellan is now fourth fastest Australian ever, behind Gainsford-Taylor (11.12), Kerry Johnson (11.19) and Raelene Boyle (11.20A).

The happy surprise in the final came from Papua New Guinea’s Mae Koime, who ran a National record 11.37 for the silver medal and a Worlds B-qualifying time. Crystal Attenborough from Darwin placed third in 11.49 ahead of Brisbane hurdler Fiona Cullen (11.59).

McLellan certainly now has the speed on the flat needed to challenge Pam Ryan’s national 100m hurdles record on Sunday. Ryan’s time of 12.93 has stood since 1972. Ryan’s best 110m flat time was 11.50A in her quarter-final at the 1968 Mexico Olympics, the Games at which she won the silver medal in the 80m Hurdles behind fellow Australian, Maureen Caird.

In tactical battle, Corrigan takes first national title

Lisa Corrigan showed she had overcome health setbacks when she defeated World ranked Victorian Sarah Jamieson to win her first national senior championship.

Only a year ago Corrigan’s weight had dropped to 43kg and she said she was on the verge of anorexia, but guided by her coach Dick Telford she is now back to a comparatively sturdy 48kg and is looking superb on the track.

Corrigan, 22, won a tactical battle in 4:15.25 from Jamieson (4:15.91), both women securing their place on the plane to Osaka with these Australian titles doubling as the Telstra Selection Trials. Georgie Clarke was third in 4:22.70.

“I can’t describe it. It’s just fantastic,” Corrigan said of her national crown. "I didn’t think it would come so soon. It’s really given me the confidence now to keep going and become the best.

“I want to get back into training and really give it a shot at the World Championships. I’m probably not quite up in the medals yet, but it would be good to make a final, that would be fantastic.”


US-based Victorian Mark Fountain won the men’s 1500m in 3:42.31 and also secured his place to Osaka. Paul Hoffman (3:42.97) and Jeremy Roff (3:42.88) filled the minors.

“I did one of my biggest weeks in training last week, running almost 160km, so it’s been good to win nationals without having to peak for it,” Fountain said.

Jarrod Bannister, 22, a powerful 90kg thrower born in Townsville in north Queensland, won his first national javelin title with his second-round 83.70m, a Worlds A-qualifier which also broke the meet record.

Bannister, coached by Gary Calvert, had fine back-up throws of 78.93m and 79.25m which were also superior to the second-placed fellow Queenslander Joshua Robinson (78.71m, Osaka B-qualifier). New Zealand’s Stuart Farquhar (77.33m) took the bronze medal ahead of Japan’s Kazuki Yamamoto (75.03m).

The other great thrower in action was American giant, Christian Cantwell, who won the Shot Put with his sixth-round best of 19.92m. Australian record-holder Justin Anlezark was second with 18.55m with Clay Cross (18.21m) third.

Commonwealth champion Bronwyn Thompson, a Brisbane paediatric physiotherapist, delighted her home crowd by winning the national Long Jump title with a windy 6.63m (+2.9m/s).

Melbourne’s Sean Wroe won his first national 400m title with a comfortable 45.80 ahead of Kurt Mulcahy (46.36), the extremely talented schoolboy from the one-time hippy haven of Mullumbimby in northern NSW.

Tasmania’s Donna MacFarlane won the 3000m steeplechase with a World Championships A-qualifying time of 9:34.21, also a meet record.

Mike Hurst (Sydney Daily Telegraph) for the IAAF

Click here for full results of Day 2

In the comical post-race routine which has won over Australian crowds in recent seasons, Ross mimicked what he termed “electric currents through my arms and finished off with the heart beat” which broke the tension of the final and brought gales of laughter from the large audience.

I think back when I was a B-BOY in the mid 80’s, we called this “poplocking or the tick”. :cool:

i thought shirvington did like 10.06 in brissy a few yrs ago now? Perhaps it must have been 10.09?

I thought Matt ran a 10.03 in 98’.

edit- I didn’t see, the ‘on home soil’ part.

When trying to find out re Rizk I found this hot off the press

[i]Sprint champ plans to take running jump

* Jenny McAsey
* March 12, 2007

NINE-TIME Olympic gold medallist Carl Lewis did it and so did three-time gold medallist Marion Jones, and now Australia’s Joshua Ross wants to be a long jumper as well as a sprinter.
A talented junior jumper who won a national title in the event at Little Athletics when he was 10, Ross is planning to return to his first love after he has competed at the world championships in Osaka, Japan, in August.

His coach, Emil Rizk, who trained alongside Lewis with coach Tom Tellez at the University of Texas in the 1990s, said yesterday Ross has the strength and bounding ability to make a big mark in the sandpit as well as on the track.

Ross booked his berth to Osaka when he completed an impressive sprint double at the Australian championships in Brisbane yesterday, adding the 200m to the 100m he won in a personal best time on Saturday night.

Ross’ 100m time of 10.08sec was the fastest by an Australian on home soil, and his 200m time of 20.51sec was swift but aided by a massive tailwind of 4.7metres/second, which means the time won’t count.

But what was plain is that Ross, 26, a former professional sprinter who turned to the tartan track in 2004, is in the best condition of his life.

After a slump last year, when he didn’t make the 100m final at the Commonwealth Games, he has lost weight, changed coaches and found the speed he needs to compete with the big boys of international sprinting.

“I always believed I was going there. I never gave up, but it is a turning point to show myself that I can mix it with the best in the world and beat them,” Ross said.

It was Ross’ first 200m national title, adding to the four he has won in the 100m. Patrick Johnson was second in the 200m, a whisker away in 20.53sec, adding to the silver medal he won in the 100m on Saturday.

While Sydney-based Ross has shown talent at 200m, he has not raced often over the distance.

“I just tried to stay relaxed and run my own race. I am not forcing things, I am letting it happen for me,” Ross said.

“I am learning to run the curve and just holding on. With a bit more strength and conditioning, I am a lot harder than I was before.”

Rizk believes Ross is equally talented at 100m and 200m, but by next year he will be aiming to do a treble at the national titles.

“After the world championships he has a four-week lay-off and then we start his winter program and start building his 100s and 200s up again and add the long jump with the aim to compete internationally,” Rizk said. [/i]

article abridged,20867,21363436-2722,00.html

[i]Unknown coach pushes Ross towards sub-10 club

* Jenny McAsey
* February 24, 2007

EMIL RIZK spent many hours watching the powerful buttocks of America’s best sprinters when he trained at the University of Houston in the 1990s.
Nine-time Olympic champion Carl Lewis, one-time world 100m record-holder Leroy Burrell and 200m Olympic gold medallist Mike Marsh were all there on the famed track program, under revered coach Tom Tellez.

Rizk was the odd man out. Australian for a start, and nearly half a second slower over 100m than any of those guys who regularly stopped the clock at 9.9sec or less.

Now Rizk, 39, is trying to train one of Australia’s best sprinters, Josh Ross, to do what he could not and beat the international superstars of the track.

Rizk does not claim to have been one of Australia’s crack sprinters when he competed 10 years ago.

“God never blessed me with that mental ability which Josh has,” Rizk said yesterday.

“I had to work extremely hard to get where I was. I made national finals but never a national team.”

Tellez let the enthusiastic Australian train with his squad, even though he was not in the same league as the other sprinters. And Rizk kept detailed notes of what he learnt from the now-retired master coach as he went back and forth from Australia for several years. Now he is confident he can use the inside information to help Ross join the sub-10sec club.

“I am more gifted as a coach than what I am as an athlete and I realise that,” Rizk said.

Ross, 26, says he has never been happier, nor fitter since they joined forces four months ago.

Last weekend, Ross (10.17sec) was narrowly beaten by American Olympic 200m champion Shawn Crawford and then an hour later ran a personal best of 20.70sec over 200m.

Ross, 26, failed to get past the 100m semi-final at the Commonwealth Games last year. He felt he was stagnating and left long-time coach, Tony Fairweather.

“It was the hardest thing I have done but in my heart I knew it was time to move on and explore other avenues,” Ross said.

He toyed with the idea of going to the US to find a coach but was then introduced to Rizk through his uncle in Sydney.

“I was looking for answers and everything he was saying to me made sense,” Ross said.

The new alliance has the athletics world buzzing. Rizk was something of an outsider in Houston, and he is here, too. He has never before trained an elite athlete and has been off the track scene for several years, running an auto business in the southern Sydney suburb of Arncliffe.

There was also some initial scepticism about Rizk’s connection with Tellez. But Athletics Australia’s national sprint co-ordinator Paul Hallam spoke to Tellez who confirmed Rizk had trained in Texas and was “a good guy who had asked a lot of questions”.

“My job is to support the athletes’ decisions and it looks like Josh has made a good one. Emil is very communicative and Josh is going well,” Hallam said.

Rizk contends that Ross was not previously training with enough intensity to get faster.

“There were all these rumours about me brainwashing Josh but he was the one that came to me,” Rizk said. “Josh needed to change everything. He was never training to be an international athlete, he was doing a high school program. After the first session he was on the floor for half an hour trying to recover.”

Fairweather, who had taken Ross from the pro running ranks to winning the past three national 100m titles, has been upset by the split and criticism of his program.

Ross regrets that but is sure the move is the right one.

“Emil really motivates me, he believes in me 150 per cent,” Ross said. "I thought I was fit when I went to Emil but I did a session and said, ‘no way, I am only about 70 per cent fit’.

“I was too big. I have lost about 3kg and I am so much lighter and more powerful.”[/i],20867,21276515-2722,00.html?from=public_rss

[i]Rizk does not claim to have been one of Australia’s crack sprinters when he competed 10 years ago.

“God never blessed me with that mental ability which Josh has,” Rizk said yesterday.

“I had to work extremely hard to get where I was. I made national finals but never a national team.”[/i]

According to AA’s records, Emil Rizk only ran at two national championships and did not get past his heat in either.

HEAT 2 - Thursday 7 March 1996 (Wind: - 4.8)
1 Damien Marsh QLD 10.60
2 Ricky Nalatu QLD 10.83
3 Robert Colling WA 10.97
4 Andrew Richardson NSW 11.21
5 Shaun Mayne WA 11.23
6 Tryson Duburiya NAU 11.70
7 Emil Rizk NSW 11.80

HEAT 5 - Friday 28 February 1997 (Wind: -1.4)
1 Ryan Witnish 1974 VIC 10.54 Q
2 Nick Rennie 1974 VIC 10.72 q
3 Mike Wiener 1974 NSW 10.74
4 Jack Laurence 1970 VAN 11.09
5 Peter Vassella 1971 NSW 11.09
6 Emil Rizk 1968 WA 11.14
7 Clayton Kearney 1964 NSW 11.15

Emil has done a wonderful job with Josh Ross to date, but he must be careful making false claims like making national finals when these can easily be verified. Unless he means Australian Masters Games finals…