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PROTRACK » GENERAL » Small but talented team for World Champs

Small but talented team for World Champs

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1 Small but talented team for World Champs on Tue Apr 19, 2011 9:11 am



Small athletics team has potential to be one of the best sent away
By Nicole Jeffery
The Australian
April 19, 2011

ATHLETICS Australia hopes to send away the most successful, if possibly the smallest, national team it has ever assembled for the world championships in Daegu, South Korea, in August and September.
An initial group of 24 athletes was named in the team yesterday, including three world champions _ pole vaulter Steve Hooker (2009), discus thrower Dani Samuels (2009) and 50km walker Nathan Deakes (2007) _ with a fourth (Jana Pittman, 2007) waiting in the wings.

Other medal prospects include Olympic silver medallist Sally Pearson, long jump duo Mitchell Watt and Fabrice Lapierre, Olympic walks medallist Jared Tallent and the men's 4x400m relay team.

National high performance manager Eric Hollingsworth is so confident in the talent at his disposal that he has set the team a record target of five medals in Daegu, one more than the previous best of four medals, set in Berlin in 2009.

"I am delighted with the quality of the team," Hollingsworth said.

"How I am looking at it is that we have named 24 athletes of quality and then if you add Jeff Riseley, Ryan Gregson, Craig Mottram, Jana Pittman and Jarrod Bannister, which we hope to do, it becomes just about the best ever team we have sent away."

He expects the final team to number around 40, but that would require Australia to be represented in all four relays. The women's 4x100m team has yet to reach the standard but will try again at the Kawasaki grand prix on May 8.

The initial group includes 17-year-old Steve Solomon, who shocked the well-credentialled national 400m field to win his first senior title in Melbourne on Sunday and will become the youngest Australian man in 20 years to compete at the world titles.

Solomon has been named with Berlin bronze medallists Ben Offereins, John Steffensen and Sean Wroe to contest the 4x400m relay.

His winning time of 45.58sec on Sunday leaves him just outside the qualifying time for the individual event in Daegu (45.25sec) but he said he was content to run the relay this year and gain experience ahead of the Olympic year.

Yesterday's selections included 17 men but only seven women, which underlines a worrying lack of depth, particularly in women's track events.

2 Re: Small but talented team for World Champs on Tue Apr 19, 2011 9:13 am


13th IAAF world championships
Saturday, August 27 – Sunday, September 4 2011
Daegu, South Korea

MEN (17):
5000m: Ben St Lawrence (NSW)
Pole vault: Steve Hooker (WA)
Long jump: Mitchell Watt (QLD), Fabrice Lapierre (NSW)
Discus throw: Benn Harradine (VIC)
20km walk: Jared Tallent (ACT), Luke Adams (ACT), Adam Rutter (VIC)
50km walk: Tallent, Adams, Nathan Deakes (ACT)
4x100m relay: Aaron Rouge-Serret (VIC), Anthony Alozie (VIC), Isaac Ntiamoah (NSW), Matt Davies (QLD)
4x400m relay: Steven Solomon (NSW), Ben Offereins (WA), John Steffensen (NSW), Sean Wroe (VIC)

100m: Sally Pearson (QLD)
100m hurdles: Pearson
Pole vault: Alana Boyd (WA)
Discus throw: Dani Samuels (NSW)
Javelin throw: Kim Mickle (WA)
20km walk: Claire Tallent (ACT)
4x400m relay: Tamsyn Lewis (VIC), Caitlin Sargent (QLD)

3 Re: Small but talented team for World Champs on Tue Apr 19, 2011 9:32 am


Door still ajar for a couple of girls in the women's 4 x 400m relay. Piranee Steinert, Jody Henry, Olivia Tauro, Caitlin Pincott, Anneliese Rubie, Lauren Boden, and a few others...maybe even SA's Rosie Kelly...have still got the opportunity to be in the relay team. I guess there will be some competitions on the Gold Coast in May/June that will give them a chance to secure a spot.

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