News & Updates

12 April 2022 • High Performance

2022 World Athletics U20 Championships Team Selection Announcement

Representing the next generation of the sport a New Zealand team of 12 athletes has been selected to compete at the 2022 World U20 Championships in Cali, Colombia (Aug 1-6).

It is the first time a New Zealand team has attended a World U20 Championships since the 2018 edition, which was staged in Tampere, Finland. 

Many Kiwi legends of the sport have competed at past edition of the World U20 Championships with former gold medallists including shot put stars; Dame Valerie Adams (2002) Jacko Gill (2010 and 2012) and Maddi Wesche (2018).

The throws will once again be well-represented in Cali as Tapenisa Havea (Canterbury) and Natalia Rankin-Chitar (Auckland) have both gained selection in the women’s shot and women’s discus. Tapenisa, who won national senior silver medals in both events, is currently ranked number three in the world U20 rankings in discus (53.40m) and number four in shot (15.97m).

New Zealand’s other selected field event athlete is the exciting triple jumper talent Ethan Olivier. The South African-based Kiwi leapt a monster 15.95m in March to post national U17, U18, U19 and U20 records and he is currently number three in the U20 world rankings.

Middle-distance runners will comprise seven of the team led in the men’s 800m by James Harding (Auckland), who last month posted a national U19 and U20 800m record of 1:47.96. He will be joined in the 800m by Luke Hitchcock (Auckland).

New Zealand U20 champion Karsen Vesty (Hawkes Bay) will feature in the men’s 1500m, alongside fellow Kiwi Zane Powell (Auckland).

Zane will be also be one of two New Zealand representatives in the men’s 3000m, gaining selection alongside Will Anthony (Wellington), who set a national U19 3000m record of 8:04.25 en route to winning the national U20 title in January. Will currently sits fifth on the world U20 rankings.

Other competing New Zealand middle-distance athletes in Cali include women’s 800m duo Macey Hilton (Auckland), the New Zealand U20 champion, and U18 national gold medallist Kiera Hall (Canterbury).

Three New Zealand sprinters will also feature in Cali led by Auckland-based national U18 100m champion Talia Van Rooyen. Boasting a PB of 11.76 the 15-year-old (who will be aged 16 at the time of the World U20 Championships) will be aiming to continue a memorable year for Kiwi women sprinters. Rounding out the team are Auckland-based 400m athletes Lex Revell-Lewis and Mia Powell – both of whom are coached by Nuree Greenhalgh.

The Athletics NZ Team Leader for the event is Athletics NZ High Performance Development Leader Tim Driesen. In the week leading into the 2022 World U20 Championships, Athletics NZ will attend a pre-camp with Athletics Australia in Miami, Florida.

Here is a list of Athletics NZ team members for the 2022 World Athletics U20 Championships:


Talia van Rooyen: 100m

Mia Powell: 400m

Kiera Hall: 800m

Macey Hilton: 800m

Tapenisa Havea: Shot Put, Discus

Natalia Rankin-Chitar: Shot Put, Discus


Lex Revell-Lewis: 400m

Luke Hitchcock: 800m

James Harding: 800m

Karsen Vesty: 1500m 

Zane Powell: 1500m, 3000m

Will Anthony: 3000m

Ethan Olivier: Triple Jump

*Note, some athletes achieved a performance standard but for various reasons chose not to submit an application.

**Athletes who did not gain selection have been contacted directly.