News & Updates
New Zealand announce largest ever World Championship team
Athletics New Zealand has today announced a record-breaking team of 20 athletes for the 2022 World Athletics Championships 15-24 July in Eugene, Oregon.
The selected number of athletes surpasses the previous record total of 18 which attended the 1997 World Championships in Athens and is a significant rise on the 13-strong New Zealand team which competed at the previous edition of the event staged in Doha in 2019.
Following the initial selection on 14 May of 18 athletes which included seven unconditionally named athletes and 11 conditionally named athletes – in this latter group nine athletes have met their conditions.
In addition, earlier this month Sam Tanner (men’s 1500m) and Quentin Rew (race walk) met the entry requirements for selection.
A further two athletes; Rosie Elliott (women’s 400m) and Hamish Carson (men’s 5000m) have also been named on the team after meeting the Road to Oregon criteria.
The team will combine a healthy mix of experienced and emerging world-class talent – with some 11 athletes making their World Championship debuts.
Leading the team will be Tom Walsh, who will be seeking a third successive world outdoor medal after claiming gold in London 2017 and two years later in Doha taking bronze with an Oceania record of 22.90m. The New Zealand challenge in the men’s shot put is bolstered by three-time World Championship finalist Jacko Gill, who last Saturday (2 July) set a lifetime best of 21.58m at an Open Throws Meet at AUT Millennium.
Also featuring in the Black Singlet is World Indoor bronze medallist Hamish Kerr, who secured New Zealand’s first ever global championship high jump medal in Serbia in March.
Others looking to make an impact include Shot put ace Maddi Wesche, who last year finished sixth in the Olympic shot final earlier this season bettered her lifetime best out to 19.10m with a stellar performance at the Jennian Homes New Zealand Track & Field Championships.
Meanwhile, another Kiwi athlete guaranteed to garner attention will be Zoe Hobbs, who takes to the track in the women’s 100m. The 24-year-old has enjoyed a spectacular past six months or so and has posted no less than four national women’s 100m records since December, most recently clocking an Oceania record of 11.09 when striking gold at the Oceania Area Championships in Mackay last month.
The team will also boast a full complement of three athletes in one discipline as Julia Ratcliffe, Lauren Bruce and Nicole Bradley have all earned selection in the women’s hammer. Bruce, the Oceania record-holder, and Bradley, the Oceania champion, will make their World Championship debut with Ratcliffe, the Tokyo Olympic finalist, making her third successive World Championship appearance. New Zealand women’s javelin record-holder Tori Peeters rounds out the seven-strong New Zealand throwing continent in Oregon.
Five male endurance athletes will take to the start line in Eugene, led by race walker Quentin Rew who will equals the record number of most World outdoor Championship appearances by a Kiwi with six – matching the achievement of Dame Valerie Adams. The Melbourne-based Kiwi who celebrates his 38th birthday later this month, made his World Championship debut in Daegu 11 years ago.
Also featuring on the team is Tokyo Olympian Sam Tanner, who returns to Hayward Field in the 1500m, two months after running a PB of 3:34.37 at the venue in the Eugene Diamond League.
Two Kiwis take to the start line in the men’s 5000m as Geordie Beamish, New Zealand Indoor record-holder for the distance, and Hamish Carson, who recorded a PB of 13:17.27 in Huelva, Spain in May to climb to number six on the all-time New Zealand rankings.
Meanwhile, the 2018 Commonwealth Games fifth-place finisher Brad Mathas competes in the 800m after securing his spot on the New Zealand team following his gold medal-winning display at the Oceania Area Championships in Mackay last month.
Joining Zoe Hobbs in Oregon, and further demonstrating the rising stocks of New Zealand sprinting, will be Georgia Hulls (women’s 200m) and Rosie Elliott (women’s 400m) while three years after making his World Championship debut national champion Eddie Osei-Nketia wins selection in the men’s 100m.
Portia Bing has been rewarded for twice bettering her national women’s 400m hurdles record during the domestic season to appear in her specialist event in what will be her third World Championship appearance.
Completing the team are women’s pole vault duo; Olivia McTaggart, who placed sixth at the World Athletics Indoor Championships in Belgrade in March, and her Auckland-based training partner Imogen Ayris.
Maddi Wesche, a former World U20 champion who will be making her second World Championship appearance, said: “I’m always immensely proud to wear the Black Singlet and I can’t wait to compete at the World Championships in Eugene, Oregon. Hayward Field is such an iconic venue and will provide a perfect setting for what, I’m sure, will be a great competition.
Kiwi Georgia Hulls, who is set to make her World Championship debut in the women’s 200m, said: “I am incredible proud and inspired to be wearing a senior Black Singlet for the first time. It is unbelievably exciting to compete in Tracktown USA and I am hoping the magic of Hayward Field will rub off on me and propel me to a special performance.”
Athletics NZ team leader for the 2022 World Athletics Championships Kat Austin said: “We are delighted to have selected out largest ever team for a World Athletics Championships, which reflects the improving strength in depth of New Zealand athletics in a broader range of events. From our experienced performers such as Tom Walsh, to the likes of World Indoor high jump bronze medallist Hamish Kerr and sprinter Zoe Hobbs there will be no lack of interest in how the team performs. The large number of debutants also bodes well for the future, and we can’t wait to see how the team performs up against the most world’s best.”
Zoe Hobbs: 100m
Georgia Hulls: 200m
Rosie Elliott: 400m
Portia Bing: 400m hurdles
Imogen Ayris: Pole Vault
Olivia McTaggart: Pole Vault
Maddi Wesche: Shot Put
Nicole Bradley: Hammer
Lauren Bruce: Hammer
Julia Ratcliffe: Hammer
Tori Peeters: Javelin
Eddie Osei-Nketia: 100m
Brad Mathas: 800m
Sam Tanner: 1500m
Geordie Beamish: 5000m
Hamish Carson: 5000m
Quentin Rew: 20km Race Walk
Hamish Kerr: High Jump
Jacko Gill: Shot
Tom Walsh: Shot
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