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Lapierre aims long at national titles

  • Lapierre aims long at national titles

    Rio long jump medal hope Fabrice Lapierre wants clear 8.30 metres in his national final in Sydney.

Australian long jumper Fabrice Lapierre is still struggling with jetlag, but it won't stop him aiming to leap 8.30m in his final at the national titles on Sunday.

One of Australia's brightest Olympic gold-medal hopes, the 32-year-old is hoping to get lucky with further favourable conditions in Sydney after needing only one qualifying jump to clear 7.90m on Friday.

"If we get these same conditions and the same wind, then I can go a bit harder," said Lapierre, whose personal best is 8.40m.

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"At least 8.30m or something like that."

He was happy to get on the board in his first preliminary-round attempt.

"It went to plan and it was easier than I thought," he said.

"I moved my mark back a foot thinking that if I was a foot behind the board I should be able to get 7.60m (the qualifying standard), and I was a foot behind.

"But I got 7.90m, and it felt real easy."

Working under American master coach Dan Pfaff, Lapierre is back in form after injury impeded his 2008 Beijing Olympic campaign and ruled him out altogether from the London Games in 2012.

Though fresh from last month's world indoor championships in Portland, the US-based star admitted he was fighting jetlag from the trip to Australia.

"I was pretty tired," he said.

"I'm still having troubles at night sleeping, but hopefully by Sunday I'll be right to go."

Brooke Stratton will contest the women's long jump final after making 6.63m in her qualifying round on Friday.

The 22-year-old is aiming to crack 7m again after smashing the national record with 7.05m in Perth last month.

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