The barnstorming 2019 season has continued for The University of Melbourne’s Catriona Bisset, claiming the gold medal in the women’s 800m.
In a rough final, Bisset shrugged off a number of knocks and checks in the final lap to dash clear in the straight to win in 2:01.20 ahead of Christine Hering (GER) in 2:01.87 and Docus Ajok of Uganda in 2:02.31. Fellow UniRoo Morgan Mitchell finished 8th in 2:04.19.
Bisset follows in some famous footsteps as a Universiade 800m champion, with Mexico Olympic 800m gold medallist and fellow Melbourne University student Ralph Doubell winning the two lap event at the first World University Games in Tokyo in 1967. Madeline Pape also captured gold in the 800m in Belgrade in 2009.
The World University Games title adds to the Australian, Australian University and Oceania titles the 25- year-old has collected this year on a ten race winning streak.
Bisset, who smashed through the 2-minute barrier when winning the UniSport Athletics National title in Sydney in April, is a late bloomer. The architecture and planning student returned to athletics after an extended break from her late teens. Coached by Cathy Freeman’s mentor Peter Fortune she clocked 1:59.78 to win the UniSport crown, becoming the first Australian in a decade to go under the two-minute barrier.
Bisset said she was still shocked with the result.
“I’m so tired… I feel like a go into a state of shock after I do anything special like this. Even after running sub-two I feel like I have this really intense physiological response. I go into a total state of rejecting that it’s actually happened,” Bisset said.
“I fully expected them to let me lead, I thought I would have to do that, but the Ugandan wouldn’t let me let me. There was some proper elbowing, full on shoving, clipping each other’s feet. I’ve never been in a race like that before, it was probably my first real aggressive race I’ve been it.. it was so cool,” Bisset said.
Australian Catholic University science student Alec Diamond ended two days of gruelling decathlon competition with silver medal and personal best of 7593 points. New Zealand’s Aaron Booth took the gold with 7827pts.
“I would have liked a little more, but it’s a PB. I was really happy with my pole vault that was a PB and long-time coming,” Diamond said.
In other results at the athletics, Gabriella O'Grady (University of Technology Sydney) finished 7th in the women’s 400m final in 52.27, inside her previous best coming into Napoli after she smashed that time in her semi-final run of 51.87. NCCA champion Mackenzie Little (Stanford University) finished 8th in the women’s javelin final with a best of 55.37m. Shemaiah James (The University of Canberra) just missed the top eight in the triple jump, finishing 9th with a best leap of 15.73m and Grant Szalek (The University of Western Australia) and Brenton Foster (University of Virginia) finished 9th and 10th in the men’s high jump clearing 2.15m.
For more on day three at the track read the full report from Athletics Australia here.