Jo Hobbs was the first New Zealand woman to qualify for the Olympic 100m since 1976

ReutersJuly 3, 2023, 03:03 AM ETI read for 1 minute

Jo Hobbs has become the first female sprinter from New Zealand to qualify for the Olympics in the 100m in almost 50 years after setting her personal best at the Continental Tour Challenger meet in Switzerland.

Hobbs, 25, ran 10.96 seconds in the heats at La Chaux-de-Fonds to win the final in 11.13.

Sue Jowett was the last woman from New Zealand to compete in the 100 meters at the 1976 Olympics in Montreal.

„I couldn’t believe it when I saw the time coming,” Hobbs said. “I didn’t think I would run at that time, especially given the conditions … head and tail wind across the wind shop.

„I never thought I’d be running a BP in the heat… It was a bit of a shock when I saw what the time was.”

Hobbs, who began his European season at the Diamond League in Lausanne last week, said he was relieved to have reached the qualifying time for Paris 2024 ahead of the World Championships starting in Budapest next month.

„It takes a huge weight off my shoulders and makes a huge difference throughout the season,” Hobbs added. „I don’t have to rush for time now. I can focus on what I have to do in front of the world champions.”

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