Wheeler Bound For Beijing

Athletics | Published: Tue 4 March 2008

WAIS athlete Kylie Wheeler has claimed a record sixth national heptathlon title to book her spot in the 2008 Beijing Games.

Wheeler will represent her country for the second time after finishing 18th in the heptathlon at the 2004 Athens Games.

Wheeler dominated the field with an A qualifying score of 6087 points which was capped off with a season best time of 2:14.64 in the 800m, the final event on the heptathlon schedule.

Wheeler had needed only to claim the national title after already posting two previous A qualifying scores mandatory under AOC selection requirements for Olympic qualification. A third A qualifying time will ensure Wheeler enters her second Olympics full of confidence.

The 27 year old felt there is still room for improvement before heading away with the team.

"It's been good, I was hoping for a couple of performances that might have been better just for confidence, but nothing was bad so I can't really complain," Wheeler said.

Pre-selected pole vaulter, Steve Hooker, claimed gold and defended his national title with a best jump of 5.65m, but failed with three attempts at 5.70. Hooker is considered a medal prospect in Beijing.

400m sprinter John Steffensen missed out on automatic selection after taking silver in the men's final. Steffensen's time of 46.17 was eclipsed by Joel Milburn's 45.90 and will now have to wait to discover his Olympic destiny.

Warwick Cregan earned himself silver in the men's 110m hurdles with a fast time of 14.09, just .2 off his personal best. The result is a fine reward for Cregan, who is part of the WAIS development squad, after he was struck down with glandular fever last winter, hampering his preparation.

Another development squad member, Kyle Rasti claimed silver in the men's Decathlon with a personal best score of 7444, 530 points above his previous best. Kyle's performance earned him the under 23 gold and his score was only 265 points shy of an Olympic B qualifier. Rasti is 21 years old.

Lyndsay Pekin capped off a good season finishing second to Lauren Boden with a time of 59.90 in the women's 400m hurdles. Pekin will compete in the under 23 championships in two weeks time.

Vicky Parnov claimed silver in the women's pole vault with a best jump of 4.20m behind Alana Boyd who won gold with a jump of 4.45m.

Kim Mickle claimed silver in the javelin with a best throw of 55.78m. Victorian Kathryn Mitchell earned the gold with a winning throw of 58.77m.