MELBOURNE (AUS, Mar 5): World record holder David Rudisha opened his season with victory over 800m in the Melbourne World Challenge in a world-leading mark of 1:44.78 ahead of Australians Luke Mathews, 20, and James Gurr, who both claimed the Olympic qualifying standard with PBs of 1:45.16 and 1:46.09 respectively. This was Rudisha’s sixth win in Melbourne since 2010. Another leading performance came courtesy of Dane Bird-Smith who won the 5000m walk in an Australian record of 18:38.97 while team-mate Bekki Smith won the women’s equivalent in a world-leading 21:19.46. Other world-leading marks came from Brett Robinson in the 5000m (13:33.13) and Madeline Hills (nee Heiner) in the 3000m steeplechase (9:34.44). Hills claimed the Olympic qualifying standard, as did runner-up Genevieve LaCaze (9:43.93). Australians also excelled in the vertical jumps: Eleanor Patterson won the high jump with 1.93m while Alana Boyd won the pole vault with 4.71m. In the triple jump, New Zealand’s Nneka Okpala won in a national record of 13.89m. There were also good marks in the throws: Tom Walsh won the shot put with 20.87m one day after winning the New Zealand title with 21.11m, Kathryn Mitchell won the javelin with a good 64.37m while in-form Briton Jade Lally won the discus with 59.94m.