POLE vault star Alana Boyd has sent a scare through the Australian camp after suffering an ankle injury in the warm-up of the Monaco Diamond League meet.
The national record holder immediately pulled out of the event given it’s the second time she’s had an ankle problem this season.
Boyd rolled her ankle in the warm-up of the world indoor championships in March and didn’t return to competition until June.
But she returned firing, breaking her own national record by 4cm with a clearance of 4.81m on the Sunshine Coast two weeks ago.
This put the 32-year-old Queenslander right in the medal frame for Rio given her leap was 6cm higher than the gold medal-winning mark by American Jenn Suhr at the 2012 London Games.
Australian officials are hopeful that the latest setback is on the minor scale and they will assess the injury again later in the week before deciding whether Boyd competes in London next weekend.
On a subdued evening in Monaco after the Bastille Day attack in nearby Nice, there were plenty of positive performances by the Australian contingent, led by Rio gold medal hope Fabrice Lapierre.
Lapierre continued his consistent season, finishing second in the men’s long jump with a leap of 8.21m — 2cm off the winner Jamaica’s Damar Forbes.
It was the eighth consecutive competition over eight metres by last year’s world championships silver medallist.
In the women’s javelin Kathryn Mitchell chalked up her fourth Diamond League podium finish, throwing 63.80m to finish second behind Tatsiana Khaladovich, of Belarus (65.62m).
Ryan Gregson stamped himself as a legitimate player in the men’s 1500m, with a season’s best performance of 3min32.13sec — the third fastest time in Australian history.
Only Gregson — who owns the national record of 3:31.06 sec — and Simon Doyle have run faster.
He was on the heels of the world’s biggest names with world champion Asbel Kiprop just ahead of him in sixth and Olympic distance champion Mo Farah fifth. Kenyan Ronald Kwemoi was the surprise winner in 3:30.49 sec.
Victorian Luke Mathews had his first taste of the big time, finishing ninth in the 800m in 1:47.00 sec behind Kenya’s Alfred Kipketer (1:44.47 sec).
The standout performance at Monaco came from South Africa’s Caster Semenya who looks in a league of her own in the women’s 800m.
Semenya, who had to undergo gender testing before being cleared to compete as a woman after winning the world championship in 2009, led from the start and was never threatened running 1:55.33 sec which was a new South African and Diamond League record.
It was also the fastest time in the world since 2008.