Published Monday 28 May 2012

New Zealand’s Sarah Cowley produced four personal best performances in reaching the Olympic standard for the heptathlon over the last two days at the Hypo-Meeting in Gotzis, Austria.

In the most important event for decathletes and heptathletes outside the Olympics and World Championships, Cowley scored 6135 points in the seven event contest, exceeding the standard of 6050 set by the New Zealand Olympic Committee and Athletics New Zealand selectors. She finished in 18th place.

The highlight for the 28 year old, originally from Rotorua, now based in Auckland was the high jump, where she jumped a personal best of 1.85 metres, then went on to successfully clear 1.88 and 1.91, becoming just the third New Zealand woman to jump over 1.90 metres and the second best ever behind Tania Dixon, winner of the Commonwealth Games High Jump in 1990.

She also achieved personal bests in the shot put and javelin events. Needing to run around 2 minutes 21 seconds for the final event, the 800 metres, Cowley did yet another personal best of 2 minutes 15.37 seconds, comfortably beating the standard.

If selected for London, it will be her first Olympic Games, having represented New Zealand at the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne.