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Athletics Australia announce key competition dates for 2015/16

Athletics Australia has today announced key competition dates for the upcoming track and field season, which starts early in December. Victoria will play host to the first four competitions of the calendar, including the extremely popular Zatopek:10 competition at Lakeside Stadium. The December period also includes the Australian All Schools Championships and the 50km Race Walking Championships.

The 94th Australian Athletics Championships will be held in Sydney in late march, spanning a four day period. The competition, which is set to conclude the Australian domestic season, is a critical opportunity for athletes seeking to be selected in the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Teams.

“Athletics Australia, its member associations, athletes and fans Australia wide are excited about the upcoming Australian Athletics season,” Tracey Gaudry Athletics Australia’s General Manager, Commercial & Growth, said.

“In a most important Olympic and Paralympic year, the Australian Athletics season provides the optimum platform for our elite athletes to prepare and qualify, whilst putting on a great sporting show for athletics fans and providing competition opportunities for emerging athletes of the future. Our mission is to engage all our stakeholders, from athletes and coaches, to fans and commercial partners, for mutual benefit. The new condensed calendar format provides that opportunity.”

Wayne Loxley, the Athletics Western Australia Chief Executive Officer, agrees and eagerly awaits the return of the Australian Junior Athletics Championships to Perth, supported by the Western Australian Government.

“Considerable effort has been made to ensure that the upcoming season strikes the right balance between providing both a vital competition opportunity and a vibrant platform to promote the sport and engage the Australian athletics community,” Loxley said.

The newly designed tour has a specific focus on delivering a competition structure that optimises performance late in the domestic season at the Australian Athletics Championships which will double as a trial for the Olympic Games.

“This structure of the season is optimal because it prioritises the Australian Athletics Championships, while providing an important series of competition opportunities in the lead up. The two-week break before the national championship is the best outcome we could have hoped for in terms of ensuring athlete preparedness for the trial,” Simon Nathan, Athletics Australia High Performance Director, said.

KEY DATES: 2015-2016 Australian Athletics Season 

AA Tour Dates 2015/16

 

NOTES:
–           Events in bold are Australian Championship events
–           Events in italics are Australian Athletics Tour events
–           The Zatopek:10 will feature the Australian 10,000m Championship for men and women
–           The date for the Briggs Athletics Classic in Hobart (TAS) is to be confirmed
–           There are two double-headers: 20 February (Adelaide & Canberra) and 19 March (Brisbane & Sydney)
–           The IAAF World Indoor Championships will be held 17-20 March in Portland (USA)
–           The 94th Australian Athletics Championships incorporates the Oceania & Australian Combined Events Championships for open and junior athletes

Buckman set for season debut at Briggs Athletics Classic

2013 world championships 1500 metre finalist Zoe Buckman will kick start her 2014 season this Saturday at the 25th Briggs Athletics Classic in Hobart.

Buckman will headline a strong field of Victorians heading to the Apple Isle for the third stop on the Australian national athletics tour.

“I have undergone a solid training block at Falls Creek and feel fitter going into the new season,” Buckman said.

“I was able to find consistency at Falls and training on the trails will make running on the track feel a bit like air.”

Buckman will enter the women’s 1500 metre race as the one to beat and with a personal best of 4:04.82 minutes adds serious class to the field.

“I haven’t run on track since September, so I’m looking forward to my first hit out.”

The 2012 Olympic Games semi-finalist will be focused on clinching the Australian Commonwealth Games ‘A’ qualifying time of 4:07.00 minutes at her first major hit out for the 2014 season.

“I’m definitely keen to get the qualifier out of the way but the win is the priority and hopefully the qualifying time comes with that,” Buckman said.

The Victorian Institute of Sport athlete had a strong 2013 to become one of the world’s leading women 1500 metre runners and a seventh place finish at the recent world championships in Moscow has signalled a bright future for Buckman.

“I’m still in my early athletics development years and will only benefit from last season,” Buckman said.

“I have adapted well to the larger training load and feel I’m now reaping the benefits and becoming more mentally stronger and confident in my own ability to compete at the highest level.”

Buckman indicated the 1500 metres would be her focus in 2014 but still enjoys racing over 800 metres.

“I like the 800 metres because it’s over so quick and it will also help with my 1500 metres.”

Victoria will be well represented in the men’s 5000 metres with eight out of 21 on the start list, an event Ballarat’s Collis Birmingham has dominated at the Briggs Track Classic over recent years, winning five of the last six and setting a meet record of 13:15.57 minutes in 2012.

Athletics Essendon pair Liam Adams and Mitchel Brown will head up Victoria’s assault on this year’s 5000 metre event.

Adams has already secured an Australian ‘A’ Commonwealth Games qualifier in the marathon and comes into the event having set a personal best of 13:31.21 minutes at 5000 metres early last year in California, United States.

Brown and Adams will have hot favourite, News South Wales Ben St Lawrence to chase down to continue Victoria’s strong showing in the distance.

A host of field athletes will be firing for Victoria this weekend with Luke Cann looking to work on his current Australian Commonwealth Games ‘B’ qualifying throw of 73.82 metres in the Javelin as will Damien Birkinhead in the shot put, the Corio athlete threw 18.64 metres at the Zatopek:10 meet last December in Melbourne to surpass the ‘B’ qualifying standard of 18.15 metres.

Athletics Nunawading jumper Brooke Stratton heads to Hobart having finished first at the Victorian Country Championships as an invite athlete in the women’s open long jump with a distance of 6.35 metres.

Stratton has already clinched an Australian Commonwealth Games ‘B’ qualifying jump of 6.53 metres but will be eager to close in on the ‘A’ qualifier of 6.65 metres.

Full list of Victorian athletes competing at the Briggs Athletics Classic:

Men Javelin (800gm) Open – Luke Cann
Women 400 Metres Open – Katherine Katsanevakis, Billie Arch
Men Long Jump Open – Jamie Stratton
Men 400 Metres Open – Fraser Russell, Sam Reiser, Conrad Coumaros
Men 800 Metres B Open – Jack Holden, Nicholas Finch, Tony Crawford
Women 100 Metres Open – Adora Arch, Emily Lawson
Men Shot Put (7.26kg) Open – Damien Birkinhead
Women Shot Put (4kg) Open – Kimbererley Mulhall
Men 100 Metres Open – Aidan Debernadi
Women 400 Metres Hurdles (,76m) Open – Ashleigh Horrobin, Felicity Black
Men 400 Metres Hurdles (.91m) Open – Tom Robertson
Women Hammer Throw (4.0kg) Open – Emma Werner, Natalie Debeljuh, Gabrielle Neighbour
Men 1500 Metres Open – Michael Marantelli, Daniel Clark, Zak Patterson, Luke Mathews, Ryan Geard, Alex Rowe
Women Long Jump Open – Corinna Minko, Brooke Stratton
Women 200 Metres Open – Emily Lawson
Men 200 Metres Open – Will Johns, Aidan Debernadi
Men 800 Metres Open – Lachlan Barber, Eddie Vinning, Darcy Sutton, Fraser Russell
Women 1500 Metres Open – Coreena Cleland, Melissa Duncan, Eliza Curnow, Zoe Buckman, Katherine Katsanevakis
Men 5000 Metres Open – Jack Rayner, Jack Davies, Toby Rayner, Brady Threlfall, Nick Wightman, Josh Harris, Anthony Aloisio, Liam Adams

The Briggs Athletics Classic will take place at the Domain Athletic Centre, Hobart on Saturday 1 February, with the main program starting at 6.00pm.

Tickets are available via Centertainment, through athletics clubs or at the gate. Adults – $15; Children (under 16) – $5; children under 6, competing athletes and little athletes – free.

Click here for event information and entry lists.