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 using Virginia as a wind shield. However, it spurred Virginia on to keep pushing, and that she did! An awesome race between both girls 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.”

**

Courtesy: Athletics Australia

XCR Schools – Albert Park Road Relays – Preview

We’re back for XCR Schools tomorrow at the notoriously quick Albert Park course, where athletes will use the Formula 1 pit lanes as inspiration to fun fast! As it stands Mercellin College, Haileybury College, St Kevin’s College, Wesley College and Trinity Grammar School make up the top five for the Men’s Division. In the Women’s Division, it’s Ruyton Girls’ School, Wesley College, Melbourne Girls Grammar, Haileybury College and Caulfield Grammar School who are sitting comfortably in that top five position.

Going into tomorrow’s competition, there will be a lot of quality athletes out on the track. In the Under 18 Women’s Division, Sophie O’Sullivan (Wesley) was a clear standout at Jells Park, recording a time of 14:28 which happened to be the quickest of the day for her age group. Sophie was also at her best at this year’s Australian Athletics Championships up in Sydney! Her fellow teammate Meg Oakley-Kerr will also be one to watch. Meg was not far off Sophie’s 14:28 at Jells, posting the second fastest time in 14:44. If Wesley roll into tomorrow with the same team they will certainly be the one to beat.

Up a Division for the Under 20 Women, it’ll be Caulfield Grammar who will go in as favourites. Georgie MacDonald was a class above the rest at Jells, handing the baton over in the fastest time for her age group with a time of 14:15. Heidi Demeo (Sacred Heart College) was part of a third placing team at Jells, and will no doubt be wanting an event better result, along with teammate Gabby Deller who recorded the second fastest time in 14:57.

Over in the Men’s Draw, for the Under 18’s it will be Adam Spencer leading his Wesley teammates to hopefully another win. Adam recorded a time of 12:17 at Jells, which was the fastest for this age group. Ed Marks wasn’t too far off, with a time of 12:28. Having Adam and Ed running as 3 & 4 is definitely a deadly combination, and they’ll be looking at another first place finish. St Kevin’s finished under a minute behind Wesley at Jells, and will go in hungry to get one back on them. Josh Collins and Matthew Hussy were both standouts for ‘Skevs’ both cracking the thirteen minute mark with times of 12:50 and 12:55 respectively.

The Men’s Under 20 Division at Jells Park was won convincingly by Trinity Grammar School who were two minutes faster than their rivals in Marcellin College and Melbourne High School. Tristan Day and Tom Sellwood were standouts for Trinity both posting sub-thirteen minute times. Although, it was Yaun Chow Lui from Melbourne High who had the quickest time for the day, handing over the baton in 12:23. With nothing separating 2nd, 3rd and 4th places at Jells, tomorrow’s podium finish could be anyone’s.

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We’ll be on the ground with our social media in full swing. That means Facebook and Instagram! So if you have your phone with you and you’re taking photos or recording videos, make sure you tag @athleticsvictoria and use the hashtag #XCRSCHOOLS. We want everyone to be connected at what is going to be an awesome day of competition!!!


Weather forecast:

Clearing showers with a top of 19 degrees. There will be a 20% chance of any rain (it won’t happen). However, if it does, expect there to be under a mil, so best leave your umbrella at home. UV index will be hovering around the low mark, but if you have fair skin it might be a good idea to chuck on some sunscreen. The is zero chance of there being a frost risk, which is great news. Wind speed and direction will be around 17km/h and hitting Albert Park from a NNE direction. And finally the relative humidity will be sitting around 90%, but will cooler temperatures, it doesn’t really mean anything.


Car parking:

Car parking is available in the allocated parking area only. These are located along Aughtie Dr, Canterbury Rd and surrounding streets. Please click here for a Car Parking Map. Areas highlighted in orange are all available parking areas.
Please Note: This is a ticketed carpark and will require a ticket to park in designated areas.

There is strictly no parking in the parkland area. Athletics Victoria is not responsible for any parking tickets that may be issued.

#XCRSCHOOLS

London World Qualifiers Update

Five years after the 2012 Olympic Games, the athletics world is ready once again to focus on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Stadium as London plays host to the 2017 IAAF World Championships from 4-13 August.

For an elite athlete to qualify for the world championships, they must satisfy the criteria as outlined by Athletics Australia, which includes equalling for bettering a nominated qualifying time, distance or height. For more information on qualification, click here.

As it stands, 16 women and 12 men have achieved qualifying standards in the track, field and walks disciplines with an additional 15 women and 6 men in the marathon events.

The initial list of confirmed athletes bound for London was announced after the 2017 Australian Athletics Championships and includes a mix of experienced world championship talent and exciting young athletes hungry for a taste of elite global competition.

Headlining the current team is 2011 100m hurdles world champion Sally Pearson (Qld), who made a triumphant return to the Australian athletic scene following a lengthy time on the sidelines due to injury.

Running 12.75 (w: +1.6) in the heats of the 2017 Australian Athletics Championships, the London 2012 Olympic champion was unmatched in the final where she crossed the line in wind-assisted 12.53 (w: +2.3) to win her eighth national crown.

Pearson’s time in the heat was her best run since the Doha Diamond League in the days before her season ending wrist injury in 2015, with her final result her fastest performance since winning silver at the Moscow 2013 IAAF World Championships.

Joining Pearson on the plane will be fellow world championships gold medallist Dani Stevens (NSW, nee Samuels) in the discus. Stevens is having one of her most consistent seasons to date, with her performance at the NSW Open Championships her second best of her career reaching 66.78m.

Just last weekend, Stevens further proved her good form when she finished just 50cm behind two-time Olympic champion Sandra Perkovic (CRO) at the IAAF Diamond League meet in Shanghai (CHN).

Rio 2016 medallists Jared Tallent (SA) and Dane Bird-Smith (Qld) will be two of six walkers set to don the green and gold in the 50km and 20km race walks in London. Tallent, who already has three world championships medals to his name (50km walk silver in Daegu 2011 and Beijing 2015, bronze in 2013 Moscow), will return to the Mall in London, the scene of his gold-medal winning 50km walk performance at the 2012 Olympic Games.

Long jumper Fabrice Lapierre (NSW) grabbed the silver medal at the 2015 world championships and will head to London ready to go up against with a very competitive field that will push his limits. Jumping a windy 8.50m (+4.4) at the Longhorn Invitational, Lapierre’s form has been up and down in 2017, but will be targeting the finals in an unpredictable field inside the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Stadium this August.

After falling just 0.01 of a second short of the Olympic final in Rio last year, 200m sprinter Ella Nelson (NSW) is ready for revenge and will head to the London World Championships with making the top-8 in the world her goal.

23-year-old Nelson showcased her ability when she dipped under the 23.10 qualifying time at the SUMMERofATHS Grand Prix with 23.00 (+1.5), but will be eyeing off her PB time of 22.50 when she heads to London later this August.

Tasmanian javelin thrower Hamish Peacock is also named in the team, and will be supported in the throwing events by 24-year-old Olympic finalist Damien Birkinhead (Vic) in the men’s shotput and Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Kelsey Lee-Roberts (ACT) in the javelin.

Three-time Australian 400m champion Morgan Mitchell (Vic) is London bound after securing three qualifiers to date, including a fast time of 51.65 seconds at the SUMMERofATHS Grand Prix this year.

Kurtis Marschall (SA) is set to get his first taste of world championships competition after the 20-year-old cleared 5.70m at the South Australian state championships this year, while female vaulter Nina Kennedy (WA) jumped 4.55m at the WA championships to see her place in the team.

Heading to her fourth world championships, Lauren Wells (ACT) will be looking to reach the final for the first time in her career after reaching the semi-finals three times previously.

At the 2017 IAAF World Relays Australia’s men’s 4x100m team and the women’s 4x400m secured their entry to London with both Aussie teams making the final in the Bahamas.

Decathlete Cedric Dubler (Qld) also finds himself London-bound after his performance at the 2016 Australian Championships granted him entry on the team.

Patrick Tiernan (Qld) clocked 27:29.81 in the 10,000m at the Payton Jordan Invitational to highlight the 10,000m starter’s continuing form.

Rhydian Cowley (Vic) will compete in the men’s 20km walk, Chris Erickson (Vic) will tackle the 50km walk, while Regan Lamble (Vic) and Beki Smith (ACT) line up for the women’s 20km walk events.

Eloise Wellings (NSW) has her ticket to London booked when her Rio Olympic Games performance of 31:14.94 in the 10,000m ensures her start for the championships.

Other athletes who have gained qualifying marks since the initial team selection include steeplechaser Genevieve LaCaze (Vic) and Olympic 1500m finalist Ryan Gregson (Vic) who both ran the qualifying times at the Doha Diamond League meet earlier this month.

Similarly the Payton Jordan Invitational meet in Palo Alto (USA) was fruitful for Australian distance runners as Sam McEntee (Vic) grabbed the qualifying time in the 5000m, and Madeline Hills (NSW) ran a time of 31:41.10 in the 10,000m to make sure her name was in the mix for a London selection.

Lisa Weightman staked her claim in the women’s marathon, with a scintillating time at the London Marathon of 2:25.15, putting her among the top-3 fastest Australians ever over the distance.

In April, Athletics Australia also confirmed automatic selections for the 2017 World Para-Athletics Championships, with Paralympic Games gold medallists James Turner (NSW) and Scott Reardon (NSW) to join reigning world champions Isis Holt (Vic), Madison de Rozario (WA), Angela Ballard (NSW) and Todd Hodgetts (Vic) on entry lists for London 2017.

The cut-off date for qualification in the able-bodied track and field events is 21 July, while the Australian marathon athletes are set to be decided upon from 22 May, with final selections to be made shortly after.


Courtesy: Athletics Australia