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Browning, Barber excel before world champs

High-profile Australian duo Rohan Browning and Kelsey-Lee Barber have produced hugely encouraging performances in their last hit-outs before the world athletics championships in Oregon.

Sprint star Browning has clocked 10.08 seconds at a Continental Tour Challenger meet meet in La-Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland – his fastest 100m time since his sizzling 10.01 at last year’s Tokyo Olympics.

It was a timely return to form for the Sydneysider, who had not gone quicker than 10.28 in any of his four previous outings in Europe.

Browning was fifth in a race won by Sri Lanka’s Yupun Abeykoon (9.96), who became the first man from South Asia to break the 10-second barrier.

Cuban Reynier Mena finished second in 9.99 and then went on to clock a slick 19.63 in the 200m.

Noted big-event performer Barber – who will be defending the world title she won in brilliant style three years ago in Doha – won the women’s javelin on Sunday (Monday AEST) with a best throw of 61.40m at a meet in Edmonton, Canada.

“A great final competition before Eugene. She’s ready to go,” tweeted Barber’s coach and husband Mike Barber.

Earlier in the weekend, middle-distance pair Jessica Hull and Peter Bol continued their impressive 2022 campaigns.

Hull broke the national mile record with a time of 4:19.89 in Beverton, Washington.

The US-based Hull now holds the Australian records for the 1500m, mile, 3000m and 5000m and the indoor records for the 1500m, mile and 3000m.

Bol – who shapes as a genuine medal shot in the 800m in Eugene and the upcoming Commonwealth Games in Birmingham – dipped under the 1:45 barrier for the 10th time in his career with a winning effort of 1:44.26 in Belgium.

The Australian squad will now head to Seattle for a staging camp ahead of the July 15-24 world championships in Eugene.

The final team is set to be confirmed on Wednesday, once a couple of appeals against non-selection have been heard.

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