Lakeside Stadium | Closed 2nd – 13th June

Athletics Victoria has been informed that the State Government has approved exclusive access to Lakeside stadium, for the use of an international football team, from Friday 2 June – Tuesday 13 June, 2017.

Please note that access to LS, via the VIS, will not be permitted.

It has been confirmed that the warm up track will remain open for training, however LS equipment/ change facilities will not be available for use.

Please ensure that you make alternative training arrangements during this period. Should you need assistance in securing/ accessing an alternative training facility, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Linden Hall achieves a London Qualifier!

Olympic semi-finalist Linden Hall (Vic) has taken another step in her elite athletic career posting an IAAF World Championships qualifying time for the 1500m at the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene (USA) today.

Stopping the clock in 4:07.37, Hall placed 12th in a tactical race that saw the pace kick down very fast over the final 400m, with Hall holding on to post a time that could see her selected as a part of the Australian team bound for the London world championships this August.

“For me, I’m really happy to post the time and ‘tick the box off the list’, in terms of a qualifying time,” Hall said post-race.

“If I get selected it’ll be my first world championships team which is pretty huge for me and something I’ve always been striving for.”

The strong field featured Rio Olympic gold medallist Faith Kipyegon (KEN) who took line honours in 3:59.67 followed by Olympic 5000m silver medallist Hellen Obiri (KEN) and British record holder Laura Muir (GBR) in third.

The time was Hall’s fastest since she placed eighth in the women’s semi-final at the Rio Olympics, and missed out on the final by just 0.21 seconds.

While it wasn’t the same dream run Hall experienced at the same competition last year when she ran 4:01.78 and jumped to No. 3 on the all-time Australian list, Hall was still pleased to post the time needed to see her with a chance to join her first world championships team.

“Honestly, I’m not overly happily with the race but I’ve got to take it,” Hall admitted.

“It was a bit of deja vu to the Shanghai Diamond League race the other week where the girls sat back for the first couple of laps and then kicked home.

“I didn’t quite have the change of pace I will be needing for London at this point – It was a little frustrating to be messing around with the first couple laps, when the pace has been promised that it was going to be fast.”

But now, as Hall sees herself right in the mix of the elite middle-distance field, the 25-year-old from Essendon admits some of the pacing responsibility now falls on her shoulders.

“We usually expect the quicker girls to take up the pace, but maybe next time I might have to be the one to have a little more of a crack to get the field moving.”

“It’s a relief to get the time I needed, I was putting a bit of pressure on myself to try and do a time trial in Australia, which didn’t get me the time, but now I’ve got it I can just go out there and race and let it happen without overthinking it from now on leading into London.”

Hall will base herself in Flagstaff, Arizona for more altitude training before heading to Europe to race in “a couple of 1500m and maybe an 800m to sharpen up before London”.

Australia’s Patrick Tiernan (Qld) also made the most of the world-class competition in Eugene, with the 10,000m specialist dropping back in distance to run the 5000m and place 11th with a personal best time of 13:13.44.

The time was more than seven seconds faster than his previous best he set in June last year and has shot him up to No. 4 on the all-time Australian record list to sit behind Craig Mottram, Collis Birmingham and Ben St. Lawrence over the distance.

The time, which was well under the world championships qualifying mark of 13:22.00 was the fastest since Birmingham’s 13:09.57 in London (GBR) in 2012 and faster than the famous run by the late Ron Clarke of 13:16.6h in Stockholm (SWE) in 1966 – a world record at the time.

Tiernan paced himself well in the race and managed to hold onto 11th place in the elite field of 24, and has put himself right in the mix for another start on the world championships team after already securing the 10,000m qualifying time required in Stanford in early May.

The race was taken out by four-time Olympic champion Mo Farah (GBR) in 13:00.70, a world lead for 2017. Farah has stated it will be his last outing on US soil before he looks to wrap up his track career at the upcoming London world championships.

Drama occurred on the track when Australian 1500m record holder took to the prestigious Men’s Bowerman Mile to place 11th with a time of 3:56.90.

A fast time seemed to be on the cards for Gregson, who was looking strong until about 550m to go when Ayanleh Souleiman (DJI) tripped over and the Australian and was forced to hurdle him. Unable to recover his rhythm as the top runners kicked away, the race was taken out by Ronald Kwemoi (KEN) who posted a world lead time of 3:49.04.

This performance followed the mile race run by young guns Luke Mathews (Vic) and Matthew Ramsden (WA) in the international mile race.

Mathews and Ramsden finished in 6th and 12th place respectively, with both athletes recording personal best times of 3:54.53 and 3:59.80.

Mathews’ time puts the 21-year-old into No. 8 position on the all-time Australian mile list. The race was won by Thiago Do Rosario Andre (BRA) in 3:51.99, while one of the highlights came from 16-year-old Norwegian athlete Jakob Ingebrigtsen who became the youngest ever athlete to complete a sub 4-minute mile in 3:58.07.

At the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene yesterday, Madeline Hills (NSW) posted a 5000m world championships qualifier after running 15:15.18 to place 13th in an incredibly strong field that was said to be aiming to break the world record.

For Hills though, it was a season’s best time and her fourth best ever over the distance. Hill’s PB of 15:04.05 was set at the Rio Olympics when she placed 10th in the final.

Hills has already secured a likely plane ticket to the world championships after smashing a previous personal best to clock 31:41.10 over the 10,000m at a meet in Stanford (USA) earlier this month.

Current 1500m world record holder Genzebe Dibaba (ETI) took out the race but fell short Tirunesh Dibaba’s 14:11.15 world record mark, finishing in 14:25.22.

In the field events, Kathryn Mitchell (ACT) executed another consistent performance in the javelin, throwing 62.87m to place fifth and less than half a metre behind two-time Olympic champion Barbora Spotakova (CZE).

Mitchell secured her likely birth to the world championships team bound for London last Sunday when she threw 63.23m at the Golden Grand Prix meet in Kawasaki (JPN).

If, as expected, she is selected for the team that will travel to London in August it would mean the 34-year-old would effectively become Australia’s eldest female field athlete to compete at a world championships.

Read more about evergreen javelin thrower Kathryn Mitchell here.

2017 Australian 1500m champion Heidi See (Vic) finished the women’s international 1500m in 4:15.34, a season’s best for the 27-year-old.

In other world class results from Eugene, Olympic triple jump champion Christian Taylor (USA) astounded onlookers in the triple jump, leaping 18.11m – a world lead performance and third longest jump in history.

Ronnie Baker (USA) stole the spotlight in the men’s 100m running a windy time of 9.86 (+2.4) to beat disappointing performances by Olympic medallists Andre De Grasse (CAN) and Justin Gatlin (USA).

18-year-old Celliphine Chepteek Chespol (KEN) upset Rio Olympic champion and world record holder Ruth Jebet (BRN) in the women’s 3000m steeplechase running a world lead, an African Record and the second fastest time ever in 8:58.78.

American Tori Bowie beat a star-studded field in the women’s 200m, running a world lead time of 21.77 seconds to beat Olympic gold medallists Shaunae Miller-Uibo (BAH), Elaine Thompson (JAM), Allyson Felix (USA) and 2015 world champion Dafne Schippers (NED).


Courtesy: Athletics Australia

Round 3 – Cruden Farm – Wrap

Well there is no doubt that Cruden is a tough course. Looking at all the athlete’s faces as they battled the hills and bog pit throughout the day reassured its toughness.

We must sound like a broke record, but once again the weather was in our favour. There was plenty of blue sky about, which made for a very pleasant day of competition. However, the wind was gnarly – so gnarly.

It was great to see all the athletes kitted out in their Club’s traditional attire. It really adds to the atmosphere throughout the day and of course the events sentimental value.

The XCR’17 competition is red hot now, which means each time athletes front up to tackle a relay, cross country course or road race, it can be anyone’s to win! Today was no different with quality competition in both the Women’s and Men’s Division.

In the Women’s U14 Division (4km) it was Lucinda Rourke (WTN) who took the win with a time of 14:52. Fellow teammate Jamie Lee-Code (WTN) was extremely close behind, finishing second with a time of 14:56. Madeline Laven (YRA) was third in a time of 15:02.

In the Women’s U16 Division (6km) it was Georgia Laven (YRA) who dominated the course, finishing with a time of 21:44. Taryn Burletti and teammate Yazmin Hayes (BER) crossed the line (practically together) in second and third times 22:08 and 22:11 respectively.

In the Women’s U18 Division (6km) it was Amy Cornell (COL) who took the win with a time of 22:49, with Emily Mizis (ESS) in second place with a time of 23:09. Matilda Moore wasn’t far off, rounding out the top 3 with a time of 23:39.

In the Women’s U20 Division (8km) it was Amelia Mazza-Downie (ESS) who was far too strong for her competitors, crossing the line in 29:30. Amelia looked comfortable the whole way around, in what was seriously tough conditions with the wind playing havoc and the mud pit swallowing shoes each time a competitor tried to chance it through the middle.

In the Women’s Open Division (8km), it was Virginia Moloney (Collingwood) who claimed victory over Anna Kelly (South Melbourne) in a time of 27:22. It was neck-and-neck for the whole race with Anna sitting comfortably behind Virginia as the two broke away from the field with about 3kms remaining. However, Virginia kept pushing towards the finish line and narrolwy clinched the win in what was a truly inspiring display of competitiveness between both athletes. It was an awesome race and we can’t wait to see what happens at Bundoora!

There is no doubt the level of competition has risen this year and it truly is a joy to watch! Congratulations to all the Women who competed today!!!

Over on the Men’s side of the draw it was the U14’s (4km) who got things rolling with Thomas Diamond (BOM) claiming victory with a time of 13:46. Bailey Morrell (FKN) wasn’t far off, crossing the line in 14:03. Wolfgand Cotra-Nemesi rounded out the top 3 with a time of 14:18.

In the Men’s U16 Division (6km) it was Harry Sharp (BAL) who clinched victory from Ramen Nayar (SME) finishing with times of 19:53 and 19:56 respectively. Caden Murray (DIV) was a very close third, crossing the line in 19:57.

In the Men’s U18 Division (8km) it was Andrew Amor (BAL) who grabbed victory with a time of 26:26. William Collins (KNX) was next over the line with a time of 26:30. With Sam Williams joining fellow teammate on the podium with a third-place finish in a time of 27:04.

In the Men’s U20 Division (6km) it was Cody Shamaman (WES) who took the win with a time of 18:40. Cassidy Shaw was on his heels the whole way around the course and finished a close second with a time of 18:49. Callen Goldsmith took bronze with a time of 18:55.

In the Men’s Open Division (16km), it was Dejen Gebreselassi (Mentone) who broke through for his for ever XCR series win. An awesome athlete who was in the mix at Wandin, and it was clear he arrived with a point to prove. Quality running ahead of XCR legends in Liam Adams and Mitch Brown. He will be the one to beat if he keeps up this solid form.

Thanks to all who made it out to Cruden Farm today – especially the Officials. Without them, events such as this one would not be possible!

We’ll see everyone in a couple of weeks’ time at Bundoora!

Round 3 – Cruden Farm Cross Country – Preview

Regarded as one of the most scenic courses Athletic Victoria’s XCR series has on offer, Cruden Farm often plays havoc to its competitors with undulating hills, an unavoidable bog pit and its length (8km & 16km).

As Australia’s oldest race, Cruden Farm is featured as our Heritage Round, where athletes can dress in their old kit and embrace the history of their club, whilst tackling the course.

Last year there were 800 athletes entered in both the Women’s 8km Cross Country and the Men’s 16km Cross Country, creating a real buzz around the event. Tomorrow is looking to be very similar with a lot of athletes registered to front up and give Cruden a crack!

Anna Kelly (South Melbourne) is the in-form XCR competitor currently, after having a breakthrough victory at Wandin Park. Coached by Tim Crosbie, Anna will no doubt be turning to him for some sound advice on how the course will play out. She’ll be hungry to go back-to-back and really send a message to her fellow competitors in Virginia Moloney (Collingwood), Gemma Maini (Frankston), Karrina Fyfe (Glenhuntly) and Alexandra Patterson (Old Xaverians). If Anna, Virginia and Gemma all compete on the day, it will be the first time this year that the three World Cross Country representatives have battled it out individually.

Nick Wightman (Deakin) has been a notable absentee this year, which has opened the door for many athletes in the Men’s Division. Nick Earl (MUAC) has been exceptionally consistent thus far, but looks to be taking tomorrow off due to soreness. Andrew Buchanan (Bendigo) took out Wandin Park but isn’t a guarantee to start either, which means Dejen Gebreselassi (Mentone) will have a real chance to make his mark as a new-comer to the competition. Liam Adams (Essendon) has been taking things relatively easy as he prepares for the London World Championships in August, but depending how he feels on the day, should always be considered a genuine chance. He will be backing up a Sydney half-marathon if he lines up…

Like the AFL, the XCR’17 season and its events could be anyone’s to win. Tomorrow will be a true test of each athlete’s fitness and determination. We can’t wait to see how it unfolds!


Weather:

Tomorrow will be mostly sunny with a top of 18 degrees. There is 70% chance of rain which makes no sense as it’s going to be mostly sunny!? If (for some reason) it does rain, we’re only expecting between 1-5mil, so I think we can leave the umbrella at home. The UV index is coming in at low, but remember there’s nothing healthy about a tan, so be sure to have all the right clothing to protect yourself from the sun. For the third week in a row the frost risk is nil – which is fantastic. The wind will be traveling at 23 km/h from the north. So if you happen to be down the coast, make sure you get the board out and hit the line-up for some pure offshore heavenly waves. Finally, the relative humidity will be hovering around 75% so do with that information what you will…


#XCR17

Hall returns to Eugene for Prefontaine Classic

Linden Hall (Vic) returns to Hayward Field this weekend to race at the Prefontaine Classic, the place where she set her personal best last year before going on to make the semi-finals at the Rio Olympics.

As was the case in 2016 the field for the women’s 1500m is loaded with world-class runners including Rio Olympic champion Faith Kipyegon (KEN), silver Olympic medallist in the 5000m Hellen Obiri (KEN), British 1500m record holder Laura Muir (GBR) and American sub-4 duo Shannon Rowbury and Jenny Simpson.

While the star line-up may not intimidate Hall this year, it has only been in the last 12 months that the Victorian made big gains in the middle-distance world.

Her run at the Pre Classic last year of 4:01.78 placed her fifth, just a few tenths of a second behind 2011 world champion and Olympic bronze medallist Jenny Simpson, one of six on this year’s start list who have broken four minutes.

“I’ve been looking forward to heading back to Hayward Field for this meet since I left last year,” Hall said.

“I have nothing but great memories from the meet last year.

“This year feels really different though, my expectations are higher compared to last year where just getting a start was almost enough in itself.

“Over the past 12 months I guess I’ve began to feel as though I belong in races like this with the top girls and looking to be as competitive as I can be.”

Last year’s result put Hall third on the Australian all-time rankings for the women’s 1500m and within a second of Sarah Jamieson’s national record at 4:00.93 set in 2006.

Two weeks ago, she ran 4:07.59 in the Shanghai Diamond League meeting, less than a tenth of a second outside the qualifying mark she is still chasing for the IAAF London World Championships.

Reigning Olympic champion Faith Kipyegon will be one of the favourites to win after setting the meet and track record last year with a 3:56.41 and has already dipped under four minutes this season.

“I’m really excited about going into Pre this weekend, the biggest box I’m looking to tick is the qualifier for London and anything beyond that is a bonus,” Hall added.

“We’re really happy with where training is at and the field is looking very hot, so I feel there is a lot to look forward to.

“I was quite disappointed with my last race in Shanghai, but it has served as great motivator and a solid welcome back to international racing and therefore will only be of benefit come this weekend I’m sure.

“I’m also pretty excited about the number of Australians competing this year at Pre, plenty of indicators suggest it could be a huge weekend for everyone competing.”


The two-day program that forms part of the Eugene Diamond League features nine Australians, seven of which represented Australia at the Rio Olympics. Eurosport Australia will show the Day Two action from 6:00am AEST Sunday.

SATURDAY 27 MAY

Women’s javelin throw – 12:34pm AEST

Australian: Kathryn Mitchell – 63.23m SB, 66.10m PB

Athletes to watch: Barbora Spotakova (2 x Olympic champion and WR holder)

  • Last weekend Mitchell threw a London 2017 qualifier of 63.23m in Kawasaki, Japan

Women’s 1500m national – 1:14pm AEST

Australian: Heidi See – 4:23.99 SB, 4:08.15 PB

Athletes to watch: Gabe Grunewald (PB of 4:01.48) and Sheila Reid (2 x NCAA champion)

  • See will be looking for the London 2017 qualifying mark of 4:07.50
  • See recently wiped 29.61 seconds off her 5000m PB in Palo Alto, USA.

Women’s 3000m steeplechase – 1:25pm AEST

Australian: Genevieve LaCaze – 9:14.28 PB

Athletes to watch: Ruth Jebet (Rio Olympic champion, WR holder), Emma Coburn (Rio Olympic bronze) and Beatrice Chepkoech (4th fastest all-time)

  • LaCaze has the qualifying mark for London but will look to improve on her 9:37.10 SB
  • LaCaze holds the Australian record for the 3000m steeplechase set in Paris last year.

Women’s 5000m – 1:41pm AEST

Australian: Madeline Hills – 15:04.05 PB

Athletes to watch: Genzebe Dibaba (bronze in Beijing world championships 5000m), Gelete Burka (silver in Beijing world championships 10,000m) and Sifan Hassan (2016 world indoor champion)

  • Leaders chasing Tirunesh Dibaba’s world record of 14:11.15
  • Hills could become third Australian woman to break 15 minutes in the 5000m

SUNDAY 28 MAY

Men’s pole vault – 5:40am AEST

Athletes to watch: Thiago Braz (Rio Olympic champion), Renaud Lavillenie (gold in London 2012, silver in Rio 2016) and Armand Duplantis (U20 WR holder with 5.90m)

  • Braz and Lavillenie will meet for the fourth time this season since the Brazilian won Olympic gold in Rio

Men’s 5000m – 6:13am AEST

Australian: Patrick Tiernan – 13:20.88 PB

Athletes to watch: Mo Farah (4 x Olympic champion, 5 x world champion), Isiah Koech (PB of 12:48.64), Yomif Kejelcha (19 years old, held WL in 2015) and Hagos Gebrhiwet (Rio bronze, 7th fastest all-time)

  • Farah has the meet record of 12:56.98 from 2012
  • Gebrhiwet is the fastest man in the field with a still-standing world Junior record of 12:47.53
  • Tiernan currently sits at 11th on the Australian all-time list for 5000m

Men’s international mile – 7:00am AEST

Australians: Luke Mathews (3:56.7 PB) and Matthew Ramsden (4:06.98 PB)

Athletes to watch: Henrik Ingebrigtsen (2012 European champion, 3:50.72), Lopez Lomong (2 x USA champion, 3:51.45) and Andrew Wheating (2012 London semi-finalist, 3:51.74)

  • Jakob Ingebrigtsen, younger brother of Henrik and Filip, will line up as a 16-year-old

Men’s 100m – 7:24am AEST

Athletes to watch: Justin Gatlin (5 x Olympic medallist, 9.74 PB) and Andre De Grasse (Olympic 100m bronze in Rio, 9.91 PB)

  • All eight men on the start list have previously broken ten seconds

Women’s 1500m – 7:32am AEST

Australian: Linden Hall – 4:01.78 PB

Athletes to watch: Faith Kipyegon (Rio Olympic champion), Hellen Obiri (silver Rio Olympic medallist in the 5000m), Laura Muir (British 1500m record holder) and Shannon Rowbury (3:56.29 PB) and Jenny Simpson (2011 world 1500m champion, Rio Olympic bronze medallist)

Women’s 200m – 7:52am AEST

Athletes to watch: Elaine Thompson (double sprint gold in Rio 100m and 200m, 21.66 PB), Shaunae Miller-Uibo (400m Rio gold medallist, 22.05 PB), Allyson Felix (6 x Olympic champion, 9 x world champion, 21.69 PB) and Dafne Schippers (Beijing 2015 world champion, 21.63 PB)

  • Four women in the field have run faster than 22 seconds

Men’s Bowerman Mile – 7:52am AEST

Australian: Ryan Gregson – 3:52.24 PB

Athletes to watch: Matthew Centrowitz (Rio Olympic champion), Asbel Kiprop (3 x world champion), Silas Kiplagat (5th fastest all-time), Ayanleh Souleiman (Beijing 2015 world championship bronze medallist)

  • Gregson is currently ranked fifth all-time in Australia with a personal best of 3:52.24 yet holds the 1500m record.
  • Only two Australian men have broken 3:50 for the mile in Craig Mottram and Simon Doyle

Courtesy: Athletics Australia

Embracing the Old School

Thirteen New Athletes Added To Gold Coast Relay Program

Athletics Australia has bolstered its Gold Coast GOLD Relay Program today, with 13 new athletes extended the offer of membership as the 2018 Commonwealth Games fast approach.

Proudly supported by Commonwealth Games Australia, membership to the program ensures enhanced daily training environment and medical support for the nation’s best sprinters as they prepare to stake their claim for nomination to the Australian Commonwealth Games Team.

“The Gold Coast GOLD Relay Program has been made possible thanks to the continued support of Commonwealth Games Australia. We are very appreciative of their continued contribution to athletics,” Alison Campbell, Acting High Performance Director at Athletics Australia, said.

“Their investment ensures Athletics Australia’s ability to be able to provide the best possible environment for relay preparation and success at Gold Coast 2018, with the Program in the coming 12 months to feature multiple opportunities for athletes to train and develop their relay prowess together.”

Nick Andrews (NSW), Aaron Bresland (WA), Rohan Browning (NSW) and Olivia Tauro (NSW) have been added to the men’s 4x100m and women’s 4x400m relay squads after their contribution to green and gold success at the IAAF World Relays last month.

While Australian 100m record holder Melissa Breen (ACT), joins the women’s 4x100m team of seven alongside Commonwealth Youth Games team members Riley Day (Qld) and Ella Connolly (Qld).

Rounding out the expanded squads are a mix of Australia’s best young sprinters including Christian Davis (Vic, 4x400m), Jackson Collett (NSW, 4x400m), Daniel Mowen (Qld, 4x400m), Maddie Coates (Vic, 4x100m), Mia Gross (Vic, 4x100m) and Bendere Oboya (NSW, 4x400m).

Jodi Lambert and Adam Larcom will continue in their roles as Squad Coach, with Matt Beckenham to join the Program as coaching lead for the men’s 4x400m relay.

“The outstanding results we saw in Nassau from the men’s 4x100m and women’s 4x400m relays indicates the performances that result from the establishment of a high performance culture and a commitment to relay running from athletes and their personal coaches. It is our intention to make every effort to extend this success across the other teams, with a sound mix of youth and experience providing opportunities for development of young athletes via mentoring that is led by our most senior charges,” Campbell said.

The men’s 4x100m relay team have been invited to compete at the London (GBR) instalment of the IAAF Diamond League in July, while the women’s 4x400m relay teams will next come together at the IAAF World Championships Preparation Camp in Tonbridge (GBR).

Membership to the Gold Coast GOLD Relay Program will be reviewed in September 2017, with domestic preparation opportunities to follow in early 2018 as the Commonwealth Games approach.

M 4x100m Relay: Nick Andrews (NSW), Aaron Bresland (WA), Rohan Browning (NSW), Tom Gamble (Qld), Jack Hale (Tas), Alex Hartmann (Qld), Trae Williams (Qld), Josh Clarke (NSW)*

M 4x400m Relay: Alex Beck (Qld), Jackson Collett (NSW), Christian Davis (Vic), Daniel Mowen (Qld), Steven Solomon (NSW), Luke Stevens (Vic)

W 4x100m Relay: Brianna Beahan (WA), Melissa Breen (ACT), Maddison Coates (Vic), Riley Day (Qld), Mia Gross (Vic), Sally Pearson (Qld), Ash Whittaker (Vic)

W 4x400m Relay: Ella Connolly (Qld), Caitlin Jones (QLd), Morgan Mitchell (Vic), Ella Nelson (NSW), Bendere Oboya (NSW), Anneliese Rubie (NSW), Olivia Tauro (NSW), Jessica Thornton (NSW), Lauren Wells (ACT)

*program involvement commences in September 2017


Courtesy: Athletics Australia

Credit: Cody Lynch

Kathryn Mitchell Throws A London Qualifier

Kathryn Mitchell (Vic) looks set to compete in her third world championships team after producing a London 2017 qualifying throw of 63.23m at the Golden Grand Prix meet in the Japanese city of Kawasaki on Sunday.

The Rio Olympic finalist produced her best throw since August last year to place second behind Chinese athlete Shiying Liu.

Well over the 61.40m qualifying standard required, Mitchell is relieved with the performance but admits it is still below her best.

“I have a lot of work to do,” Mitchell said.

“It was great to get the qualification mark out of the way, but I’m actually not in that great shape at the moment.”

Mitchell has recently been preparing in China where training has been a “hard environment, both physically and mentally”.

“I think the level [of competition] is on the way up and 63 metres won’t guarantee a good place in the top meetings. I would like to step up a level this year.”

If, as expected, she is selected for the team that will travel to London in August it would mean the 34-year-old would effectively become Australia’s eldest female field athlete to compete at a world championships.

Though it’s a statistic Mitchell isn’t likely to get caught up in.

“I am enjoying the best years of my career, albeit a decade late!” Mitchell said.

“I still believe in achieving big things so while I can… I hope I can inspire persistence for younger athletes who may think things will turn out just as they imagine.

“Age is just a number, is it not?”

Mitchell is likely to join fellow javelin thrower Kelsey-Lee Roberts (ACT) in London after she secured her spot on the team by taking out the Australian Athletics Championships earlier this year.

Set to travel to the United States for the Eugene Diamond League this coming weekend, Mitchell will then head to Germany to base herself in Jena, where Olympic gold medallist Thomas Rohler (GER) is based.

In the men’s javelin at Kawasaki, London-bound Tasmanian Hamish Peacock threw 80.13m to finish 5th in a competition that was taken out by Rohler with a 86.55m throw.

In other results from Japan, Brandon Starc (NSW) cleared 2.25m in the high jump for the first time since July last year to finish in 6th place. Although it wasn’t the 2.30m he requires for world championship team selection, the jump signalled a long-awaited return to competition for the 23-year-old who recently undertook ankle surgery.

On the track, Rio Olympic semi-finalist Jenny Blundell (NSW) missed out on a world championships qualifier by less than a second in the women’s 1500m, running third in 4:07.72, while Brittany McGowan (Qld) has returned to competition after a lengthy stint on the sidelines due to injury to record 4:12.28 and finish in 5th place.

Four-time national champion James Nipperess (NSW) recorded a season’s best of 8:40.29 in the 3000m steeplechase, not far outside the 8:32.00 qualifying standard he was chasing. Stewart McSweyn (Tas) finished just behind in 8th place with 8:44.66.

Elsewhere, James Gurr (NSW) ran 1:48.98 to place 5th in the men’s 800m, while Naa Anang (Qld) jumped 6.32m in her first overseas long jump competition this season.


Courtesy: Athletics Australia

Athletics Victoria Target Talent Program – Session 1 – Wrap

The first of Athletics Victoria’s 2017 Target Talent Program days kicked off to a flying start on Saturday at Lakeside Stadium.

The day saw over 100 athletes and coaches take part in a series of event specific coaching, lead by our Team of AVTTP State Coaches. Sessions varied from event specific technical coaching, training and testing, to discussions around winter training loads and injury management.

The day continued with two education sessions – ‘Complete Clean’, presented by Athletics Australia’s Integrity Unit Education Officer – Lynda Gusbeth and ‘Making the most of your Support Team’, presented by AVTTP State Coaches Warren Hill and Steve Cain. Athletes where taken through a step-by-step guide to ASADA and the importance of competing clean, along with the benefits of forming and knowing how to get the most out of your personal Support Team.

The day was capped off with lunch, followed by a guest appearance by athlete and coach duo, Brooke and Russell Stratton. With the assistance of guest interviewer, Sean Whipp. Brooke and Russell openly shared their pathway from grass roots athletics, all the way to an Olympic final in Rio 2016. It was such a wonderful opportunity for our AVTTP athletes and coaches to discover the making of a champion athlete, along with an honest account of the highs and lows of being an elite athlete and competing on the world stage.

Athletics Victoria would like to take this opportunity to thank our guest throws coach, Mike Edwards, Brooke and Russell Stratton, the AVTTP State Coaching Team, our AVTTP athletes and coaches, parents and helpers for your contributions and attendance. We very much look forward to welcoming back our AVTTP athletes and coaches to the next session, which has been scheduled in June.

Please follow the link to learn more about the Athletics Victoria’s Target Talent Program.

XCR Schools – Albert Park Road Relays – Wrap

To say we’ve been lucky with the weather so far during the XCR Schools season would be an understatement!

On Saturday (20th May) Albert Park played host to what is generally regarded as one of the fastest ‘cross country’ courses in Victoria. Schools from across the state descended on Formula 1 heartland with determination and hunger to be crowned 2017 Road Relay Champions.

The first event of the day was the Girl’s U14 / U16 and Boy’s U14 /U16 – 4 x 2km relay.  Ruyton Girls’ Schools team #1 (Aisha Kasaby, Lottie Calhaem, Ruby Schultz and Dee Dee Deng) were a cut above the rest, finishing just ahead of Wesley College (2nd place – 34:14) with a time of 00:34:03. In the U16 Division, it was Maribyrnong College who just managed to edge out Wesley College, in what was very tight contest throughout the whole race. Yara Taylor finished with the fastest time for the morning, crossing the line in 7:59, with her teammates Bianca Puglisi, Georgia Muller and Janae Mackrell all posting exceptional times as well. the Boy’s U14 Division saw Haileybury College team #1 featuring Tom Wilcock, Charlie Rogers, Xavier Scott and Declan Mankoita, take out the top prize with a time of 31:02. Kunyung Primary School weren’t far off, fishing just over a minute behind with a time of 32:09. Up an age group, and it was Haileybury College (Romin Kodikara, Harrison Scott, Sam Bunnage and Nikolaj Djordevic) who again (by the smallest of margins) secured first position with a time of 28:30. Peninsula Grammar were only 8 seconds behind!

The second event of the day was the Girl’s U18 / U20 and Boy’s U18 / U20 – 4 x 3km relay. Wesley College were again dominant throughout the whole race, snatching gold from Sacre Coeur with a time of 43:47. Sophie O’Sullivan who ran anchor, finished with the fastest time for her age group in 10:36. Her teammates Meg Oakley-Kerr (10:43) and Tea Wittey ( 10:50) both cracked the 11 minute mark as well, with Juliet McBerney finishing in 11:38. Up in the U20 Division, it was Methodist Ladies’ College (Holly Hart, Louise Ton, Christienne Ashton and Amy Riuse) who were far too strong, crossing the line 3 minutes ahead of their rivals in Caulfield Grammar. Over in the Boy’s U18 Division saw Wesley College back on the winners podium, after showing a solid display of running, with Kang Nyoak leading the charge with a time of 8:41, and his teammates Seamus Graham, Ed Marks and Adam Spencer all posting quality times. However, it was James Lightfoot (Carey Grammar) who posted the fastest 3km for the morning (including the U20 Division) with a time of 8:36. Peninsula Grammar have always been solid when it comes to athletics, and on Saturday it was no different with their U20 team narrowly beating Trinity Grammar by only 5 seconds. Jessie Dunsmore, Dylan Burrows, Lackie Enno and James Paton all put in brilliant performances, with Jessie posting the quickest time in 8:45.

A huge congratulations to all schools who competed on the day. The atmosphere was electric, and the racing was at an all time high. We can’t wait to see everyone at the Victorian All Schools Cross Country Championships out at Bundoora on Saturday 17th June.

For a list of full results click here.

Cathy Freeman Appointed as GC2018 Ambassador

Legendary Australian sprinter Cathy Freeman OAM became the sixth official Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Ambassador in Brisbane today.

The announcement was made by Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Corporation Chairman, Peter Beattie AC and Premier of Queensland, the Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk MP at a public event in the Queensland capital.

Speaking with rising sprint star Riley Day at the media event, Freeman was excited to be a public face for the Games after an extended period in the background of Australian athletics.

“The Commonwealth Games provided special moments for me as an athlete and to be involved in GC2018 as an ambassador at this time is exciting,” Freeman said.

“I know the excitement and pressures of competing in an Olympic Games on home soil. It was an amazing period in my life and Sydney 2000 was a special moment for sport in Australia and I can only imagine the Gold Coast will provide the similar experience for the current group of Australian athletes,” she added.

Freeman became a global household name after her historic 400m gold medal at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games which 17 years on is still regarded as one of Australia’s most significant sporting achievements and an iconic Olympic moment.

The first female Aboriginal athlete to win gold at a Commonwealth Games, at Auckland 1990 at age 16, Freeman announced herself as one of the world’s best in 1994 when she won gold in both the 200m and 400m at the Commonwealth Games in Victoria, Canada.

She retired from international competition in 2003 and founded the Cathy Freeman Foundation in 2007 to help broaden horizons and inspire Indigenous students to experience their full potential in school. Freeman has also played a mentor role for some of Australia’s best athletes, including 400m champion Morgan Mitchell.

The Olympic and Commonwealth Games gold medallist joins Sally Pearson OAM, Cameron McEvoy, Anna Meares OAM, Laura Geitz and Kurt Fearnley OAM as a welcome member of the GC2018 Ambassador family.

Commonwealth Games Australia CEO Craig Phillips was delighted with the appointment of Freeman as an ambassador.

“Cathy has a proud Commonwealth Games history and it’s only fitting she is involved with GC2018,” Phillips said.

“The Commonwealth Games marked her arrival on the international sporting stage in 1994 and was the launch pad for one of Australia’s greatest sporting stories. More than anyone, Cathy understands the unique opportunity of being able to compete at a home games, in front of a home crowd.”

Freeman is the sixth of a select group of high-profile figures who will assist GOLDOC with the promotion of the 4-15 April 2018 Games to Australia and the rest of the world.

To mark the occasion, Freeman was presented with a commemorative surfboard – an iconic keepsake of the Gold Coast lifestyle.

GOLDOC Chairman Peter Beattie was delighted to welcome one of Australia’s greatest ever sportspeople to represent the Games.

“Cathy holds a special place in all Australian hearts; she embodies the Commonwealth spirit and is a welcome addition to the GC2018 family.

“The appointment of Cathy as a GC2018 Ambassador comes at an important time for the Games as we approach the end of the ticket request phase next Monday 22 May. I encourage fans all over Australia to request tickets for the best chance to secure their place at the biggest event Australia will see this decade.”

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Courtesy: Athletics Australia