Jeff Riseley (right) is appealing his non-selection in Australia’s Commonwealth Games team.
Jeff Riseley (right) is appealing his non-selection in Australia’s Commonwealth Games team.

Riseley contests squad omission

ONE of Australia's most consistent middle-distance performers, Jeff Riseley, has been surprisingly overlooked for the Commonwealth Games track and field team.

Riseley, 31, has appealed his non-selection in the 800m with the third spot on the team going to 19-year-old Joseph Deng.

There are eight athletes who have lodged protests over their non-selection including sprinter Jack Hale who has been picked in the 4x100m relay but missed out on the third discretionary spot for the 100m.

The Riseley situation involves a strange set of circumstances because Deng didn't even make the final of the selection trials on the Gold Coast at the weekend.

He ran in the B-race where he produced an A-standard qualifying time of 1min45.71sec which ended up being faster than Luke Mathews' winning time in taking out the national title (1:45.90 sec).

 

Riseley chased hard in the final before fading late to finish third with Joshua Ralph grabbing second place which ensured he was selected in the team alongside Mathews.

Joseph Deng on the training track.
Joseph Deng on the training track.

Kenyan-born Deng had finished second to Mathews in the heat but because it was slower than the four others on the night, he wasn't one of the three next fastest to get through.

 

The selectors have used their discretion to go with youth and potential over experience for the third 800m spot.

Riseley, who has been to the last three Olympics and four world championships, is the third fastest 800m runner in Australian history. He finished fifth in the 800m and 1500m at the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games.

The selection conundrum was actually created by the organisers when they decided to have a consolation B final in the mens and women's 800m - the only events at the titles to have a B final.

There is also a surprise in the women's 800m with schoolgirl Keely Small getting selected despite finishing last in the trial. The teenager had run 2min01.46sec last year which the fastest time in the world for female aged under 18.

On Sunday she finished at the tail of the field, clocking 2:13.71 sec.

Hale's problems started midway through the 100m final when he tweaked his hamstring. He was forced to pull up midway down the straight but the injury is believed to not be serious.

Queenslander Trae Williams won the trial impressively from Rohan Browning and Josh Clarke with all three selected to run the individual 100m sprint on the Gold Coast.

There has been little between Hale and Clarke over the past couple of seasons.

Clarke's personal best is 10.15 sec from 2016 while Hale ran a 10.10 sec race with an illegal tailwind (+2.1) in January.



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