News & Updates

10 November 2022 • Track and Field

New Zealand Combined Events Championships return to Whanganui

Aaron Booth is the defending national men's decathlon champion having struck gold in Hastings in March. (Credit: Alisha Lovrich)

The historic Cooks Gardens in Whanganui will host the 2023 New Zealand Combined Events Championships on the weekend of 25-26 February.

Regarded as one the premier multi-event venues in the country, Whanganui will stage the championship for the first time since 2018 and fourth time in total as the cream of the country’s senior, U20 and U18 multi-eventers battle for national honours.

Athletics NZ Lead Coach for Combined Events and Jumps Terry Lomax said: “There are only three or four venues in New Zealand with the ability to cover the specific needs of combined eventers; for example, having the ability to run sprints/hurdles/pole vault and long jump in both directions for favourable winds, electronic timing etc. Whanganui is a venue with all those capabilities.

“We are therefore excited that the meeting will take place at Cooks Gardens as it will meet the requirements of the athletes and offer every opportunity to raise the quality of performance.”

Athletics NZ owes a big debt of gratitude to the organising team at Cooks Gardens for stepping up and hosting the 2023 New Zealand Combined Events Championships because the iconic Whanganui venue also hosts the North Island Colgate Games, Cooks Classic and New Zealand Masters Games this summer.

Whanganui Athletics President Alec McNab said: “We are delighted to host the New Zealand Combined Events Championships here at Cooks Gardens. The venue will guarantee an athlete-friendly environment for all multi-eventers for what I’m sure will be a memorable summer of athletics in the city.”

The 2023 New Zealand Combined Events Championships looks set to provide a fascinating senior men’s decathlon showdown between defending champion Aaron Booth and Oceania champion Max Attwell, who are set for their first head-to-head decathlon competition since Aaron struck gold and Max placed fourth at the 2019 World University Games in Naples. For Attwell it is somewhat of a homecoming as he was a former student at Whanganui Collegiate School.

In the women’s senior heptathlon, Canterbury’s Christina Ryan will be gunning for a sixth successive national senior title.