National champions Stewart McSweyn (10,000m and 5000m) and Jemima Montag (20km Walk) had their Olympic selection confirmed today by the Australian Olympic Committee.
As current national champions who have both achieved the required Olympic qualification standard, McSweyn (St. Stephen’s Harriers) and Montag (Melbourne University Athletics Club) were named to the team alongside World Champion Kelsey Barber (Javelin), Jessica Hull (5000m) and Olympic bronze medallist Dane Bird-Smith (20km Walk), as part of the first round of official selections under the Athletics Australia nomination criteria.
The 25-year old McSweyn has compiled a formidable list of achievements over the last two years, most recently representing Australia at the 2019 World Championships in the 1500m and 5000m events. Showcasing superb range, McSweyn won the 10,000m national title in an area record of 27:23.80, whilst securing the 5000m national title in tactically astute fashion, a blistering final four laps entertaining the Lakeside crowd.
Montag’s 2019 was highlighted by a series of outstanding 20km performances amongst global fields. A 2nd place finish at the Summer Universiade was followed by a 10th place finish at the 2019 World Championships, battling extreme heat and humidity in both Naples and Doha. The 22-year old showed composure on the world stage in trying conditions, a strength to be drawn upon again in the likely heat and humidity of Tokyo.
Athletics Victoria sends our sincerest congratulations to both Stewart and Jemima, Olympic debutantes who have featured regularly in Victorian competitions throughout their junior and senior careers. The AOC announcement reinforces the perseverance and dedication of all five selected athletes in a difficult time for international and Australian sport.