Australia’s most talented track and field athletes are getting ready to take centre stage, as Athletics Australia finalises its 64-strong team for the World Athletics Championships taking place in Oregon22, the USA in just 9 days’ time.
Defending champion and Olympic bronze medallist Kelsey-Lee Barber will look to add more silverware to her growing collection, alongside fellow Tokyo medallists Nicola McDermott and Ash Moloney, and world number one race walker Jemima Montag. 16 athletes will also make their international debut on an Australian senior team, including three junior athletes who will compete at the World Under 20 Championships just one week later.
Athletics Australia General Manager, High Performance Andrew Faichney said he was thrilled with the quality of athletes who have earned selection this year and is looking forward to the team building on the success seen at the Tokyo Olympics last August.
“Our team’s Tokyo campaign inspired the nation, with history making performances across a number of events. Some of the performances we’ve witnessed since then, during our domestic season and abroad indicate to us that the Australian athletics team is in shape to continue this momentum,” Faichney said.
“This is an exciting team. Not only do we have Tokyo medallists and an incredible number of Olympic top-eight finishers, we have a new cohort of athletes joining us at this level for the first time, and that’s a fantastic place to be as a team as we mark the beginning of the Paris Olympic cycle.”
With the majority of athletes also doubling up for the Commonwealth Games just one week later, the 2022 World Athletics Championships also kick off the beginning of an immense few months for Australian athletics, where records are expected to tumble and new benchmarks are to be set.
“These World Championships mark a busy few months’ for us, and outside of the Olympic Games, there is nothing even nearly as competitive as the World Athletics Championships,” Faichney said.
“On this team we have a mix of experience but the leaders of our team are strong. Outside of our Tokyo medallists in Kelsey-Lee Barber, Nicola McDermott and Ash Moloney, we also have athletes that are on the cusp of making history such as Jemima Montag who has become world number one for the first time, as well as Eleanor Patterson who won silver at the World Indoor Championships, and Peter Bol and Matt Denny who placed fourth at the Olympics just to name a few.
“We also have a number of debutants and we’re excited to see them relish this opportunity. We have three junior athletes including Calab Law and Aidan Murphy and our youngest on the team, Claudia Hollingsworth competing in the USA before they travel to Cali, Columbia for the World Athletics U20 Championships. I’m sure each and every one of these athletes on our team will do us proud.”
After long covid halted his season both domestically and abroad, world number three Stewart McSweyn is thrilled to be back in action and to be competing against the world’s best once again after making his Olympic debut in Tokyo last year.
“It’s a huge honour to be able to pull on the green and gold for not one but two Championships this year. There is no greater honour in our sport so it’s an absolute privilege to be able to do it twice this year,” McSweyn said.
“I think the big lesson I have taken from Tokyo is that no round is easy in the 1500m. All three rounds are a huge challenge. I think you have to respect and prepare well for every round of competition throughout the championship.
“Goals-wise, I’m trying to make sure I compete and execute to the best of my abilities at both Worlds and the Commonwealth Games, and hopefully the final result will take care of itself.”
Another strong prospect for the team is Olympic finalist and Oceania champion Mackenzie Little who has raised her personal best on two occasions this year, and most recently finished fourth at the Paris Diamond League last month.
“This season has really exceeded all expectations so far and I would say has been a big mental shift for me in terms of me feeling like I belong in the top ranks with some of the best girls in the world,” Little said.
“In Australia, as a junior, I always had really talented throwers ahead of me like Kim Mickle, Kath Mitchell and Kelsey-Lee Barber, which taught me to be confident and not intimidated by other big athletes, and instead just focus on the things I can control. This is such a valuable lesson and has almost certainly helped in the Olympics and Diamond League because I can see those amazing athletes as people rather than unstoppable competing machines. I make sure to find happiness in the thrill of competing and just aim to be proud of my own performance.”
The Australian Athletics Team will put the finishing touches on their final preparations for the World Athletics Championships at the Athletics Australia staging camp in Seattle, Washington before the championships commence on July 15.
The Australian Team for the World Athletics Championships Oregon22
100m Bree Masters QLD (Ryan Hoffman, Gold Coast Athletics)
200m Jacinta Beecher QLD (Gary Bourne, Qld University Technology), Ella Connolly QLD (Mark Ladbrook, Ignition Athletics)
800m Catriona Bisset VIC (Ned Brophy-Williams, Melbourne University), Tess Kirsopp-Cole VIC (Craig Mottram, Geelong Guild), Claudia Hollingsworth VIC (Craig Mottram, Mentone Athletics)
1500m Georgia Griffith VIC (Nic Bideau, Box Hill), Linden Hall VIC (Ned Brophy-Williams, Athletics Essendon), Jessica Hull NSW (Pete Julian, Bankstown Sports)
5000m Natalie Rule VIC (Tim O’Shaughnessy, St Stephens Harriers), Rose Davies NSW (Scott Westcott, Newcastle Runners), Jessica Hull NSW (Pete Julian, Bankstown Sports)
Marathon Sarah Klein VIC (Peter Schuwalow, Frankston)
100m Hurdles Liz Clay QLD (Sharon Hannan and David Reid, Gold Coast Victory), Celeste Mucci VIC (Darren Clark, Williamstown), Michelle Jenneke NSW (Gary Bourne, Sydney University)
400m Hurdles Sarah Carli NSW (Melissa Smith, Kembla Joggers)
3000m Steeplechase Brielle Erbacher QLD (Jody Erbacher, Darling Downs), Amy Cashin VIC (Sean Cleary, Western Athletics), Cara Feain-Ryan QLD (Ben Norton, University of Queensland)
20km Walk Jemima Montag VIC (Brent Vallance, Melbourne University), Rebecca Henderson VIC (Simon Baker, Mentone Athletics)
35km Walk Kelly Ruddick VIC (Stephen McCulloch, Ballarat Harriers)
High Jump Nicola Olyslagers (nee McDermott) NSW (Matt Horsnell, Sydney University), Eleanor Patterson NSW (Alex Stewart, Bankstown Sports)
Pole Vault Nina Kennedy WA (Paul Burgess and James Fitzpatrick, University of WA)
Long Jump Brooke Buschkuehl (nee Stratton) VIC (Russell Stratton, Nunawading), Samantha Dale NSW (Andrew Murphy, Cherrybrook Athletics)
Hammer Throw Alexandra Hulley NSW (Karyne Di Marco, Sutherland).
Javelin Throw Kelsey-Lee Barber QLD (Mike Barber, Qld University Technology), Mackenzie Little NSW (Angus McEntyre, Sydney University), Kathryn Mitchell VIC (Uwe Hohn, Eureka Athletics).
100m Rohan Browning NSW (Andrew Murphy, Sydney University), Jake Doran QLD (Paul Di Bella, Townsville North Star)
200m Aidan Murphy SA (Peter Fitzgerald, Saints), Calab Law QLD (Andrew Iselin, Mayne Harriers)
400m Steven Solomon NSW (Penny Gilles, Randwick Botany Harriers), Alex Beck QLD (Mark Ladbrook, Ignition Athletics)
800m Nagmeldin Peter Bol VIC (Justin Rinaldi, St Kevins College), Joseph Deng VIC (Justin Rinaldi, St Kevins College)
1500m Oliver Hoare NSW (Dathan Ritzenhein, Sutherland), Stewart McSweyn TAS (Nic Bideau, University of Tasmania), Matthew Ramsden WA (Nic Bideau, Athletics WA).
5000m Ky Robinson QLD (Ricardo Santos, NA), Matthew Ramsden WA (Nic Bideau, Athletics WA), Jack Rayner VIC (Nic Bideau, Western Athletics)
10000m Jack Rayner
110m Hurdles Nick Hough NSW (Anthony Benn, Sydney University), Chris Douglas VIC (Joey Woody, Glenhuntly)
3000m Steeplechase Ed Trippas NSW (Jason Vigilante, Bankstown), Ben Buckingham VIC (Nic Bideau, St Stephens Harriers)
20km Walk Kyle Swan VIC (Jared Talent, Athletics Nundawing), Declan Tingay WA (Brent Vallance, University of WA), Rhydian Cowley VIC (Brent Vallance, Glenhuntly)
35km Walk Rhydian Cowley, Carl Gibbons NSW (Frank Overton, Westlakes)
High Jump Brandon Starc NSW (Alex Stewart, Parramatta City), Joel Baden VIC (Sandro Bisetto, Melbourne University), Yual Reath VIC (Paul Cleary, Ballarat YCW)
Pole Vault Kurtis Marschall WA (Paul Burgess, University of WA)
Long Jump Chris Mitreveski VIC (John Boas, Athletics Essendon), Henry Frayne QLD (Gary Bourne, Qld University Technology)
Discus Throw Matthew Denny QLD (Ben Thomson, QEII Track Club)
Javelin Throw Cameron McEntyre NSW (Angus McEntyre, Sydney Pacific), Cruz Hogan WA (Morgan Ward,University of WA)
Decathlon Cedric Dubler QLD (Chris Gaviglio, Qld University Technology), Ash Moloney QLD (Steve Rippon, Jimboomba Athletics), Daniel Golubovic QLD (Paul Pearce, Qld University Technology)
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