AtjetAustralia’s No.1 ranked hurdler Liz Clay could be forced to sit out the Commonwealth Games after taking a heavy fall in the 100m hurdles heats at the World Athletics Championships in Oregon.
Clay was on track to place third and qualify for the final, before clipping the seventh hurdle and dramatically crashing to the ground.
The 27-year-old was assisted off the track by medical staff and is set to have scans on her left foot to determine the extent of her injury.
But with the opening heats of the 100m hurdles at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games only 13 days away, Clay is in a race against time to be fit for competition.
Compatriots Michelle Jenneke and Celeste Mucci advanced to the semi-finals, with Jenneke looking particularly impressive.
Clocking an impressive 12.84 seconds into a headwind, the Queenslander achieved her fastest time in seven years – a mere 0.02s off her career-best set in 2015.
“I’m ecstatic with that,” Jenneke said afterwards.
“I’ve come into these championships with one real goal and that’s to run a PB. I didn’t quite get that today but to be so close – I think my PB was with a 1.2 tailwind, and today was into a small headwind – I’m really proud of what I’ve achieved.”
Former heptathlete Mucci registered 13.01 seconds to lock in the second non-automatic qualifying spot.
Meanwhile, after leaping to a new Australian record less than one fortnight ago, Brooke Buschkuehl took just one attempt to qualify for the long jump final.
With a jump of 6.76-metres, Buschkuehl cleared the automatic qualifying mark on her first try.
“I’m obviously stoked. Normally I’m the one waiting around crossing my fingers, wondering if my jump is enough to get to the final, but I couldn’t have had it go any better in getting the auto qual on my first jump,” she said.
“The jump I put together wasn’t anything special so if I can relax out there tomorrow, the big jumps will come.”
Nervous down the runway and through to her landing, Buschkuehl said her emotions were reflected in her jump, recognising there is much more to come as she hunts down a medal for Australia.
Earlier, Australian middle-distance dynamo Peter Bol placed seventh in his highly-anticipated 800m final.
After a difficult semi-final run, the Western Australian hoped to build on his performance, but it was not enough as Bol finished just over two seconds behind the winner in 1:45.49.
Bol made a solid start to his race moving his way towards the front of the field, but was swallowed up by the stacked field at the bell and was unable to find his way back into medal contention.
The 28-year-old will have another shot to bring home a medal for Australia when he takes to the track at next week’s Commonwealth Games.
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