Australia’s chances of fielding a team in the men’s 4x400m relay at the London Olympics remain in limbo, with a quartet of Alex Beck, Ben Offereins, Kevin Moore and Steven Solomon failing to improve the nation’s aggregate time.
Only the top 16 nations in the world, based on the aggregate of their two fastest times, are eligible to compete at the London Olympics. Australia currently sits in 17th place.
The team clocked a slow 3:05.93 to finish fourth in their heat behind USA’s 3:00.15. According to the meet organisers, the splits for the team were: Beck (47.8), Offereins (46.1), Moore (46.1) and Solomon (45.8).
Australia’s aggregate remains 6:07.40, courtesy of their 3:01.56 in the heats of last year’s world championships and the 3:05.84 recorded in Brisbane earlier this year. Japan, currently in 16th position, have an aggregate just four hundredths of a second faster at 6:07.36.
Despite not achieving their objective, the quartet can take some solace in the fact that Grenada (3:08.85) and Nigeria (3:09.01) – both also outside the top 16 – also failed to record competitive times.
Further qualifying opportunities will take place in Japan this weekend, where a quartet of Alex Carew, Craig Burns, Kurt Mulachy and Tristan Thomas will compete in Hiroshima; and in Daegu, Korea on 16 May. However, with both the African and European championships scheduled just prior to the 2 July cut off date set by the IAAF, it will be a nervous wait should Australia manage to move into the top 16.
In other events at the Penn Relays, Australia finished fifth in the distance medley relay, with Ryan Gregson anchoring the team home in the 1600m leg in 3:55.6 following 2:53.6 (1200m), 47.4 (400m) and 1:48.0 (800m) legs from Jordan Williamsz, Matt Lynch and Lachlan Renshaw respectively.