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Mitchell Watt wins Long-Jump silver and Australia’s first track medal

Mitch Watt leaps in Long Jump Final Credit: Stu Forster/Getty

As pointed out by the medal tally, Australia is struggling to climb (or leap) their way onto the top of the podium, especially when faced with British opposition and for silver medallist Mitchell Watt, this was no different.

Watt was convincingly beaten by Brit Greg Rutherford who flew his way to a best jump of 8.31 metres, while Watt  only managed 8.16m. Seeing as Rutherford’s fourth and subsequently best jump was farther than anything Mitchell Watt had produced this season, it was always going to be tough for the 24-year-old.

Despite this seemingly remarkable jump by Rutherford, his was in fact the lowest Olympic-winning jump since the Munich Games in 1972, where Randy Williams claimed gold with a leap of 8.24m, not that it mattered to Rutherford, he said “I thought I was going to jump further, but I’m Olympic champion, so who cares?”.

In an interview after the event, Watt’s sense of humour was still evident despite his disappointment, “My best jump was when Jessica Ennis was going past, so I just pretended I was British for about 30 seconds.”

Will Claye, of the United States, finished third with an 8.12m jump.

Watt was not the only Aussie competing in the long-jump final, his training partner, Henry Frayne just missed out on a top 8 finish, cut after three jumps finishing ninth, with a 7.85m best.

Though it probably wasn’t the colour that he wanted, Mitchell Watt still achieved an incredible feat by taking home an Olympic silver medal, and has set the tone for big names like Sally Pearson and Steve Hooker these coming days to stand on top of the podium.

Meanwhile, in the field events, former world-champion Dani Samuels failed to place in the discus-throw final, being cut after three attempts, with a most successful throw of 60.40m, well under her best qualifying throw of 63.97.

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