ATHLETICS

Stratton shifts focus to Commonwealth Games

Stratton shifts focus to Commonwealth Games
After finishing sixth at the world championships, Brooke Stratton now looks to the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

Brooke Stratton knows what needs to happen next.

Get fitter and get stronger and she will really be ready to match it with the big guns of the women's long jump.

Having overcome serious foot and groin injuries, Stratton exceeded her own expectations on Friday by finishing sixth at the world championships -- one spot better than she managed at last year's Rio Olympics.

The 24-year-old Australian was ultra-consistent, with two jumps of 6.67m and three others of 6.54m or more.

American Brittney Reese pocketed the gold with a jump of 7.02m, two centimetres further than the silver-medal effort by Darya Klishina, a Russian competing as a neutral athlete in London.

Stratton is now a seasoned big-event performer who should start as the gold- medal favourite at next year's Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast.

'Being in Australia, I'm sure the home crowd will boost me to bigger jumps,' said the national record holder.

'I would have loved to have jumped further, but I don't think I had any further in me. I gave it my best tonight.

'I'm sure bigger jumps will come, I just need a consistent block of training under my belt and I should get back to jumping over seven metres pretty soon.

'Those girls are able to produce those distances time after time.'

Genevieve LaCaze took inspiration from a different source after finishing 11th in the women's steeplechase final in London.

Like Stratton, the 28-year-old LaCaze had been a doubtful starter in London due to an injury-interrupted buildup.

She watched in admiration as her long-time college rivals Emma Coburn and Courtney Frerichs smashed the African domination of the event by claiming a 1-2 finish for the United States.

'If I can't have the gold medal it's lovely to see girls I raced in college get it because I do believe I can be that good,' the 28-year-old said.

'I've raced those girls for so many years and I've watched them progress.

'... It's so inspiring and I do hope that in the next 12-24 months I can do that and I believe I can.'

Australians Jordan Willamsz and Luke Mathews narrowly missed out on qualifying for the men's 1500m final.

AAP