News & Updates
ITM all set for bumper international fields
The 2024 International Track Meet (ITM) at Christchurch on Saturday 24 February is living up to its name by attracting more than 80 athletes from 20 different countries in what is shaping up to one of the most eagerly anticipated editions of the annual World Athletics Continental Tour Bronze meet.
With a host of overseas names targeting the ITM, the meet will feature athletes from all six continents around the globe, including a large contingent of 26 Japanese athletes, as they pursue early season qualification points on the road to the 2024 Paris Olympic Games.
The ITM has long garnered a reputation for featuring a world-class array of throwers and fast sprint race and this year is no exception. The women’s 200m will feature a reprise of the exhilarating battle from 12 months ago which saw Rosie Elliott set a national record time of 22.81 for the distance just 0.03 clear of Georgia Hulls who advanced to number two on the all-time NZ lists. The same record had previously been broken at the 2009 edition of ITM by Monique Wiliams.
The 2023 showdown between the sprint duo provided one of the all-time great memories in the 15-year-old history of the ITM and the rematch between the duo at Nga Puna Wai promises to be a cracker as the pair seek another top performance. The New Zealand duo will, however, face a strong international challenge which will include 2022 Commonwealth Games finalist Ella Connolly of Australia, a sub-23 second 200m performer, and Japanese 100m and 200m champion Arisa Kimishima, a World Championship representative in both athletics and bobsleigh.
The men’s discus showdown between Commonwealth Games gold and silver medallists, Matt Denny of Australia and Great Britain’s Lawrence Okoye will provide another highlight. Denny, who finished fourth at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and 2023 World Championships is a world-class thrower with a best of 68.43m. Okoye, a 2012 Olympic finalist with a PB of 68.24m, stepped away from the sport for several years to pursue an American Football career with NFL giants the San Francisco 49ers, but has more recently returned to athletics also winning a European bronze medal in 2022.
ITM Athlete Director Craig Motley said: “We had unprecedented interest from overseas athletes chasing qualifying points for the Paris Olympics. Aside from major multi-day team events like the Commonwealth Games and IPC World Champs, New Zealand has never seen an international track meet with this number of overseas athletes.”
More big names for the meet will be unveiled in due course.
The general public have the chance to take part by entering the REPRESENT Footwear 5k Road Race immediately before the meet, starting and finishing on the same track that they’ll see the international stars on shortly after.
To enter the 5km, or for further information, go to either website:
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