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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

Ruddick national champ, Tallent disqualified

Ballarat Harrier Kelly Ruddick was crowned the women’s Oceania and Australian 20km race walking champion this weekend in Hobart at the first round of the IAAF Race Walking Challenge.

Ruddick secured automatic selection for the IAAF World Race Walking Cup in Taicang, China this May, winning in a time of 1:34.44 ahead of Tasmanian Stephanie Stigwood (1:37.39) and fellow Victorian Rachel Tallent (1:38.38).

Disaster struck for three-time Olympic Games medalist Jared Tallent when he was disqualified on the last lap of the men’s event to hand Queensland’s Dane Bird-Smith the win in 1:22.39.

Tallent and Bird-Smith had opened up a lead heading into the final lap of the race before Tallent made a race winning move only to be sensationally disqualified with a 60 metre advantage and the win insight.

Bird-Smith was flanked by two Victorians on the podium – Olympian Chris Erickson (1:25.23) and Rhydian Cowley (1:26.49).

Victorian athletes strong weekend of results continued in the under 20 events where Jemima Montag claimed the women’s title in 47:00 ahead of Queensland’s Clara Smith (48:17) and New South Wales Jasmine Dighton (49:11).

World junior 10000 metre qualifiers Jesse Osborne and Nathan Brill were a class above in the under 20 men’s event, Osborne won in a personal best of 41:27 minutes from Brill (42:46) and New South Wales Tyler Jones (45:39).

Full Victorian results:

Men 20km Race Walk Open
2 Chris Erickson 1:25:23
3 Rhydian Cowley 1:26:49

Jared Tallent DQ IAAF 230.1

Women 20km Race Walk Open
1 Kelly Ruddick 1:34:44
3 Rachel Tallent 1:38:38
6 Regan Lamble 1:40:49
9 Beth Alexander 1:50:37

Women 10km Race Walk Under 20
1 55 Jemima Montag 47:00
7 52 Stephanie George 54:00

49 Tayla-Paige Billin DNF
50 Zoe Boldiston DNS

Men 10km Race Walk Under 20
1 44 Jesse Osborne 41:27
2 38 Nathan Brill 42:46
4 40 Adam Garganis 46:19
7 46 Kyle Swan 48:01
8 47 Reese Walmsley 48:05
9 37 Kyle Bird 48:55

For a complete list of results click here.

Tallent and Mickle named Athletes of the Year

Jared Tallent (Vic) and Kim Mickle (WA) are Athletics Australia’s Athletes of the Year, with the duo announced as the best-of-the-best for 2013 at a gala dinner at Crown Palladium, Melbourne.

The IAAF World Championships medal winning pair were joined on the illustrious honour roll by Evan O’Hanlon (NSW), Angela Ballard (NSW) and Matthew Denny (Qld), who were name Male Para-Athlete, Female Para-Athlete and Junior Athlete of the Year respectively.

Capping off what has been an enormous year for the nine-time Australian javelin champion, Mickle was also announced as the Eurosport Athlete of the Year for her continuing strong performances on the IAAF Diamond League circuit. Placing in the top-three each and every time she competed this year, her 2013 resume also includes a new personal best of 66.60m and a silver medal from the IAAF World Championships in Moscow.

“Definitely a surprise. It’s capped off a remarkable year. It’s icing on the cake,” Mickle said.

“I want to go one better next year at the Commonwealth Games for sure. I won silver in Delhi and in Moscow this year so the gold is aim for sure. The pre-season is going well so far, the body is healthy and I can’t see anything less than gold as a good result.

“I’m so close to Joanna Stone’s record. I thought my last throw in Moscow had it but I am not there yet, and its unfinished business. Bring on 2014.”

Tallent has also shone both as part of the National Athletics Series and on the world stage this year. The winner of the Australian 20km Race Walking Championships in February, the three-time Olympic medallist went onto take out the top honour in the IAAF Race Walking Challenge and a stunning bronze medal in the men’s 50km walk at the IAAF World Championships.

“I’m very honoured to win this. I have been performing at a strong level like this for some time now, and it is probably ten years in the making but it is great to be recognised like this,” Tallent said.

“In 2003 I nearly gave the sport away when I lost my scholarship at the VIS but then I was invited to Canberra by Brent Vallance, my parents forced me to go, and the rest is history. I have to thank them especially for this.

“I have aspirations to continue right through to Tokyo, and who knows from there. I love what I do and am so excited and that I get to continue doing it now with my wife Claire (Tallent) as my coach.”

Tallent now has the IAAF World Race Walking Cup in his sights, while Mickle will look to improve on her silver medal from the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi (IND) by winning gold when the event heads to Glasgow (SCO) in 2014.

“I’ve got the World Walk Cup next year and I have a bronze and a silver. The gold is my aim for sure. Fingers crossed,” Tallent added.

Tallent and Mickle’s Australian Flame teammate Jess Trengove (SA), who placed an outstanding 11th in the women’s marathon at the IAAF World Championships, was also recognised as the Australian Flame Athlete of the Year thanks to her strong commitment to the development of a team bond in the Australian Flame camps in both Tonbridge (GBR) and Moscow (RUS).

Arguably the best-performed athlete at the IPC Athletics World Championships, 2013 was certainly O’Hanlon’s year.

Setting two championship records in Lyon (FRA), the five-time Paralympic champion and dual world record holder added a further three world titles to his burgeoning trophy cabinet just weeks after recovering from viral meningitis.

The winner of three silver and one bronze medal at the IPC Athletics World Championships, Ballard’s rise to the top of wheelchair racing continues. Unable to attend the event tonight because she is completely her thesis, the four-time Paralympian is coached by Louise Sauvage.

Denny rounded out the big winners, with the 18-year-old crowned Junior Athlete of the Year.

The winner of six gold medals at the Australian Junior Athletics Championships in Perth, he went on to win a gold and bronze medal at the 2013 IAAF World Youth Championships and now has Eugene 2014 for the IAAF World Junior Championships firmly in his sights.

The 2013 Athlete of the Year Awards, proudly presented by Eurosport, were held in the Crown Palladium in Melbourne tonight.

The complete list of winners is:

Edwin Flack Award – Tamsyn Manou (VIC)

Art Series Hotel Volunteer of the Year – Richard Lawsyz (VIC)

Australian Sports Commission Junior Coach of the Year – Grahame Pitt (QLD)

Australian Sports Commission Para-Athlete Coach of the Year – Iryna Dvoskina (ACT)

Australian Sports Commission Senior Coach of the Year – Grant Ward (WA)

Eurosport Athlete of the Year – Kim Mickle (WA)

Australian Flame Athlete of the Year – Jess Trengove (SA)

Junior Athlete of the Year – Matthew Denny (QLD)

Female Para-Athlete of the Year – Angela Ballard (NSW)

Male Para-Athlete of the Year – Evan O’Hanlon (NSW)

Female Athlete of the Year – Kim Mickle (WA)

Male Athlete of the Year – Jared Tallent (VIC)

Life Governorship – Rob Fildes OAM (VIC)