Meet record tumbles as Chambers sparkles

MEDAL REWARDS:  Ipswich speedster Larissa Chambers with her gold and three silver medals won in Sydney.


DEDICATED Ipswich coach Vic Pascoe shares every high and low with the competitors he encourages at the Ipswich and District Athletic Club.

But when an athlete he has coached since she was nine does something special, he understandably feels proud.

Sprinter Larissa Chambers delivered some remarkable runs ― and four medals ― during eight events over four days at last weekend’s Australian Junior Track and Field Championships in Sydney.

“All season Larissa had come close to a world junior qualifier in a variety of events ― 100m, 200m and 400m,” Pascoe said.

“She has been consistent and sometimes unlucky with illegal wind readings, but on day four (the 100m final in Sydney) the stage was set ― a dry track, slight tail winds and strong competition.

“The gun went and Larissa flew out of the blocks.  It was a battle between the Queenslander and Victorian Hanna Basic with Hanna eventually out-dipping Larissa on the line.”

When the announcer said the first two had set a world qualifying standard, Pascoe said the emotion flowed.

“Our champ Larissa was bouncing around jumping with joy and screaming as she had posted a legal world junior qualifier of 11.69s,” the coach said.

“It was unbelievable.

“More impressive, she bettered the Australian junior meet record of 11.76 held by Olympic champion Sally Pearson (McLellan) and Carla Williams.”

With her distinctive red hairstyle, Chambers narrowly missed out on another world junior qualifier in the 200m.

But she finished with three silver medals and a gold representing Queensland in the 4x400m relay.

“That is her best result ever,” Pascoe said of the year 12 Springfield Anglican College student.

“To qualify for three finals is excellent.

“Because she had the 400 up first and only ran less than 0.3 of a second outside her PB for the final, that may just have taken the edge off her a little bit for the 1 and 2.

“But in saying that, she’s just got that determination and gutsy way of doing it.

“She’s been training really really hard for the past three months and it’s just paying off.”