Dubler drives to decathlon victory
BUOYED by a message of good luck from defending Commonwealth Games champion Damian Warner, Brisbane decathlete Cedric Dubler sent by his performance a trans-Pacific reply that the Canadian will not have the Carrara Stadium 10-event competition all his own way in April.
Dubler, with a rousing personal-best points tally of 8229, and Gold Coast 400m runner Murray Goodwin added on Saturday night to the pile of gold from Queensland athletes at the Gold Coast Games trials meet which finishes on Sunday.
The 23-year-old from Brisbane ensured he would compete against Warner at the Games by lodging an A-qualifier and winning his third straight national title, the first time it had been done since Peter Hadfield won nine Australian decathlon titles in a row between 1976-85.
"To be honest there is a lot left in the bank for the Commonwealth Games. I am in incredible shape at the moment,'' Dubler said.
Warner, an Olympic bronze medallist in the decathlon and former world titles silver medallist, had a personal best of 8695 points, achieved in 2015, but Dubler said he did not find athletes with such a record daunting at this stage of his career.
"He is an incredible athlete. He's been in contact with me, which just shows the camaraderie among the athletes, but during the Games we will be pushing each other,'' he said.
Goodwin, 31, capped a wonderful comeback to athletics by leading a Queensland trifecta in the 400m title, taking it out in 46.24sec, from Brisbane's Daniel Mowen(46.37) and Gold Coaster Alex Bolt 46.61).
Goodwin, a former Stawell Gift winner, did not achieve a Games qualifying time and will need discretionary selection in the event from Atletics Australia selectors, but has the safety net of the 4x400m relay team.
A Gold Coast school teacher, Goodwin returned to athletics after a break at the age of 26 and is in only his second season of 400m specialisation.