No coach, no worries for Luke Mathews
SPLITTING with your coach two weeks before a major championships generally doesn't bode well for performance but Melbourne's Luke Mathews has proved otherwise.
In the best international performance of his career, Mathews ran brilliantly over the final lap to win the second 1500m heat.
Mathews walked out on the Melbourne Track Club's training camp in Spain two weeks ago, deciding to go it alone after being coached by Nic Bideau for the previous two years.
"Two weeks ago I left my coach, we were going through some tough times," Mathews said. "We weren't quite getting along. I left my training camp at six o'clock in the morning and I went off to Tonbridge (Australian team camp).
"I felt like click-refresh. I got advice from my mum Elizabeth Mathews, who was my coach before Nic.
"To be honest it was a long, long story and this is not the place to talk about it but that is what I did but AA (Athletics Australia) and my teammates supported it and that is what I did.
"I put that behind me and now I am focused on these world champs."
Ironically his MTC training partner, Ryan Gregson, an Olympic finalist in Rio, failed to get out of the heats.
Mathews, 22, was a major disappointment at his Olympic debut in Rio last year and admitted he lost his way afterwards.
"I ran second last (in 1500m) and fourth last (in 800m) in the Olympic heats last year and to be honest it was tough, the three or four weeks afterwards," he said.
"I put on eight kilos, I was going out afterwards, I was hungover every day and I just pretty much told myself I don't want to be disappointing leaving overseas again.
"The Olympics was a good learning curve."
Mathews was the fastest qualifier through to the semi-finals after clocking 3min 38.19sec to get the victory and he will be joined in Saturday's 1500m semi-finals by fellow Australian Jordan Williamsz.
The 24-year-old got through on the inside to claim the final qualifying spot in the opening heat, crossing the line in 3:46.11.
Williamsz, who has spent the previous four years in the US college system, got a late call-up to the Australian team thanks to the IAAF's roll-down policy where event quotas are filled with next best qualified athletes on the world ranking system.
It wasn't a great night for Australia's 5000m runners with Heidi See, Madeline Hills and Eloise Wellings failing to get through the heats.
Tasmania's Hamish Peacock also failed to make the javelin final with a best throw of 82.46m.