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Mitrevski leaps for gold at nationals

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John Salvado / AAP News

 

It was a mix of elation and frustration for Chris Mitrevski, winning the Australian long jump title but narrowly missing the qualification standard.

One centimetre. One lousy centimetre.

For long jumper Chris Mitrevski, it was a mix of elation and frustration after going agonisingly close to guaranteeing his spot in the Australian team for the world championships and Commonwealth Games.

The 25-year-old Victorian produced the best series of jumps of his career at Sydney Olympic Park on Saturday to claim a third national title and a first since 2018.

Any of Mitrevski’s six jumps – all of them over the eight-metre mark – would have been good enough to claim the gold medal.

Unfortunately, the best of the lot, a massive 8.26m effort in the first round, came with the aid of an illegal tailwind.

Mitrevski’s next best two jumps of 8.21m and 8.20m both bettered his personal best, while being just shy of the tough automatic qualifying mark of 8.22m.

Even so, the positives far outweighed that one negative for Mitrevski, who has struggled to produce his best for the past couple of years after representing Australia at the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.

“There’s absolutely nothing you can do about being so close,” Mitrevski told AAP.

“You just have to go back and try a little bit harder and that’s what I did.

“That 8.22 is clearly there.

“When I jumped the windy 8.26 I didn’t even touch the board so I knew it was there.

“I was feeling really good about myself today but unfortunately I was just off what was needed.

“There’s still plenty of time in the qualfying period so hopefully we’ll do it soon.”

Given the form he displayed on Saturday that could come as soon as next weekend’s Brisbane Track Classic.

Mitrevski then plans to head to Japan in May, by which stage he may well have found that extra centimetre or two that ensures he will be wearing the green and gold at the world championships in Oregon in July and the Birmingham Commonwealth Games.

William Freyer edged 2018 Commonwealth silver medallist Henry Frayne for second spot on Saturday after the pair both recorded 7. 82m jumps.

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