News & Updates
New Zealand contingent hope to fire at Aussie nationals
Around 50 New Zealand athletes will descend on Sydney looking to make their mark at the Australian Track & Field Championships from Saturday March 26 through to Sunday April 3.
Leading the talented group of Kiwi athletes for the nine-day event is World Indoor 60m semi-finalist and national 100m record-holder Zoe Hobbs, who will be aiming to maintain her stellar season against the cream of Australian 100m sprinters.
Meanwhile, in the men’s event, Australian-based New Zealand men’s 100m champion Eddie Osei-Nketia will be looking to go one better than last year when he finished second in the men’s 100m at the Australian Championships. The powerhouse sprinter is also entered in the men’s 200m.
Portia Bing and Tori Peeters have both been in record-breaking form during a stellar domestic season and the pair will be looking to make more gains at the Sydney Olympic Park Athletics Centre.
Bing has posted a pair of national records in the 400m hurdles this season but is an agonising 0.04 away from an automatic entry standard time of 55.40 for the World Championships and Commonwealth Games A performance standard and the Aucklander will hope the Aussie competition will propel her to that time.
Peeters too smashed her own New Zealand javelin record with a 62.40m earlier this month in Hastings and competing alongside the likes of Australia’s reigning world champion Kelsey-Lee Roberts, the Kiwi will have more than half-an-eye on banking a World Championship entry standard of 64.00m.
Tokyo Olympian and national 1500m champion Sam Tanner is entered in the men’s 1500m and 2018 Commonwealth 800m finalist Brad Mathas is entered in the two-lap race.
Look out too for three-time Olympian Quentin Rew who competes in the men’s 10,000m track race walk seeking another fast mark to aid his bid for a spot on the Birmingham Commonwealth Games team. The 37-year-old has already achieved one Athletics NZ B Performance standard for the 25-lap distance, which is part of the programme in Birmingham.
Other New Zealand senior national champions in action are Georgia Hulls (women’s 200m), Rosie Elliott (women’s 400m), who is entered in the 200m and 400m, and Holly Manning (women’s 800m).
New Zealand Para athletes including rising wheelchair racer Jaden Movold, New Zealand long jump and 100m T20 record-holder Josh Lush, national men’s 100m T38 record-holder Jaxon Woolley and teenage T54 sprinter Gabby Wright compete while a large contingent of leading New Zealand age-group athletes will also look to make an impact led by a group who have already attained Athletics NZ World U20 Championship performance standards; Lex Revell-Lewis (men’s 400m), Macey Hilton (women’s 800m), Kiera Hall (women’s 800m), Mia Powell (women’s 400m) and Zane Powell (men’s 5000m) are also in action across a range of events.
Athletics NZ High Performance Athlete Support Manager Kat Austin said: “The Australian Nationals are a great opportunity for developing athletes to experience competing against athletes where a different depth is present in many events. We know being able to pop across the ditch again without Covid-19 restrictions excites this group of athletes and will allow them to demonstrate their talent against the best Australian athletes. Being exposed to a different track, different set of officials, slightly different time zone etc are all things developing athletes need to be challenged with and these championships offer that.
“For our more senior experienced athletes, although a placing score is not on offer in relation to their world ranking, the competition can be fierce in some events and really test techniques and strategies when often these leading athletes have competed through our domestic season without similar talent alongside them.”
For full entries at the Australian Athletics Championships go here
For a full timetable go here
A livestream of all the action can be seen on the Athletics Australia YouTube channel