Six young Big V athletes will join 900 athletes from 66 commonwealth countries at the 2015 youth Commonwealth Games in Apia, Samoa from today.
First up for Australia will be Box Hill sprinter Nana-Adoma Owusu-Afriyie, who will be confident she can progress from heat three of the 100m on day one as the fastest qualifier.
With a qualifying standard of 12.06 second Owusu-Afriyie heads into the championships as the fourth fastest this season.
The Wesley College student will also compete in the 200m on day-two of the championships at the Apia Park Sports Complex in Apia, the capital and largest city in Soma.
Showcasing Wesley’s strong track and field program, Xavier Smith will don the green and gold for the first time. The talented middle distance runner had strong competition from Queensland’s Brodie Modini across the Australian summer and the pair will compete in both the 800m and 1500m in Samo.
Diamond Valley athlete Thomas Wilson will headline Australia’s charge in the long jump after finishing second at the national junior championships in Sydney earlier this year behind IAAF world youth championships silver medalist Darcy Roper with a jump of 7.31 metres, which was a world youth qualifying mark.
Wilson will also feature in the 200m at the youth Commonwealth Games on day-two of competition.
Victoria’s sole thrower Bianca Hansen will feature in the discus and will no doubt take plenty from Samantha Peace’s performance at the IAAF world youth championships where she threw a personal best of 50.59 metres to place third overall.
Western Athletics jumper Billie Arch will take confidence from her national under-18 long jump title and with British pair Emily Wright and Holly Mills too young to compete, Arch will be a strong contender this week in Apia.
Australian under-18 400m hurdles champion Harrison Kimpton-Moss will be another looking to make an impact on the international stage.
The event was first introduced in 2000 and hosted by the City of Edinburgh, Scotland. The second edition of the games was held in Bendigo in 2004 with Australia topping the medal tally with 58 gold and 129 medals overall.
The Games has been a strong launch pad for some of the world’s best athletes and, look no further than 2004 when Sally Pearson (14.11) defeated Jessica Ennis (14.50) in the 100 metres hurdles.
In 2008 Old Melburnians athlete Sam Baines placed first in the 110m hurdles with a commonwealth youth record time of 13.77 seconds. Following on from this Baines placed fourth at the 2010 IAAF world junior championships in Moncton, Canada.
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