News & Updates

14 April 2023 • Track and Field

The New Zealand team for the 2023 World Athletics Championships unveiled

The National Athletics Centre in Budapest where the New Zealand team will be competing at the 2023 World Athletics Championships.

Following the success of a vintage summer of athletics, a 24-strong New Zealand team has been “conditionally” selected for the 2023 World Athletics Championships in Budapest (Aug 19-27).

Of the 24 athletes named, 12 are required to meet additional performance conditions to confirm their selection by 30 July.  

A full complement of three pole vaulters have been named on the team led by 2016 Olympic bronze medallist Eliza McCartney, 2022 World Indoor sixth place-finisher Olivia McTaggart – both of whom have achieved the automatic entry standard of 4.71m – and Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Imogen Ayris.

A revitalised McCartney is returning to her best after several years of injury struggle and the pole vault star is set to make her first World Championship appearance since appearing at the London edition six years ago. McTaggart (4.71m) and Ayris (4.51m) have both set PB’s during an impressive 2023 campaign. 

Three New Zealand shot putters have also secured their place in the team led by Tom Walsh, the 2017 world champion and 2019 world bronze medallist, and two-time Olympic bronze medallist, who is set for his fifth World Championship appearance in Budapest.

His fellow shot putter Jacko Gill is also poised for his fifth World Athletics Championships following his breakthrough 2023 campaign. The 28-year-old Aucklander claimed his first national senior title and posted a PB of 22.12m at the Sir Graeme Douglas International presented by Harcourts Cooper & Co.

In the women’s shot Maddi Wesche, will appear at her third World Athletics Championships in Budapest. The Commonwealth bronze medallist has happy memories of the 2022 World Athletics Championships after setting her current PB of 19.50m to place seventh in Eugene.

Also punching his ticket for Budapest is Commonwealth champion Hamish Kerr. The 26-year-old high jump star has enjoyed a stellar unbeaten 2023, adding 3cm to his national record of 2.34m in Slovakia and was crowned World indoor Tour final winner in Birmingham.

Sprinter Zoe Hobbs has been named for her third successive World Championship appearance. Hobbs has enjoyed an outstanding summer season twice lowering her Oceania 100m record – highlighted by a blistering 10.97 clocking in Sydney.

New Zealand champion and joint New Zealand resident record-holder, Tiaan Whelpton has also earned selection in the men’s 100m providing he achieves additional performance conditions in the men’s 100m. Further bolstering the New Zealand sprinting ranks in Budapest will be Georgia Hulls, who has been selected for her second World Championship appearance in the women’s 200m.

Middle-distance runner Sam Tanner has also been selected for his second World Athletics Championships. Last August, the 22-year-old twice achieved the entry standard mark for the 1500m – highlighted by a top-quality 3:31.34 clocking at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games.

Geordie Beamish, who set a New Zealand 3000m record of 7:36.22 in New York in February has earned his place in the men’s 5000m.

Discus thrower Connor Bell has been rewarded for an excellent season in which he twice smashed the New Zealand senior men’s discus record to earn his place for Budapest.

Meanwhile, 800m specialist James Preston has also secured a World Championship spot following an impressive unbeaten campaign over the two-lap distance.  

Hamish Kerr said of his selection for the 2023 World Athletics Championships: “With preparations for the World Championships now in full swing, it’s awesome to get the confirmation that I will be there in the Black Singlet representing the country with pride.

“I feel like I have a lot of unfinished business after not fulfilling what I felt I was capable of at my two previous World Championships. So with this in mind I’m motivated and excited to take on this new challenge, with a medal fully within my sights.”

Eliza McCartney said: “After such a long time away from international competition, I’m over the moon to be back competing and heading to my second World Athletics Championships.

“I spent the domestic season finding my rhythm competing again, and at times it felt like slow progress, so it was a relief to hit the entry standard before the season was out.

“I’m very much looking forward to competing on the international stage again.”

Oceania hammer record-holder Lauren Bruce was delighted to be on the team and was fully focused on achieving the performance conditions set in order to fulfil her ambitions to compete in Budapest.

“I’m aware of the slightly different qualification path to what I’ve experienced before, but it’s great to be named on the team,” said Lauren. “With commitment to my own ambitions, meeting the outlined performance level to confirm selection is a crucial stepping stone. We’re excited to see the work we’ve been doing through the past six to eight months come to fruition.”

Athletics NZ High Performance Director and Team Leader for the 2023 World Athletics Championships Scott Newman said: “It’s hard to recall a World Championships team with better depth and opportunity. Many athletes will have finals firmly in their sights and I’m expecting a surprise or two.

“A year out from the Paris Olympics it’s a great opportunity for some of our emerging athletes, like Connor Bell and James Preston, to compete among the very best and test themselves.”

New Zealand team for the 2023 World Athletics Championships

 ***The below 12 athletes will be guaranteed a slot provided they remain high enough within the world rankings to fall inside the entry quota that World Athletics has set for each event.


Georgia Hulls – 200m

Zoe Hobbs – 100m

Eliza McCartney – Pole Vault

Olivia McTaggart – Pole Vault

Maddi Wesche – Shot Put


Geordie Beamish – 5000m

Connor Bell – Discus

Jacko Gill – Shot Put

Hamish Kerr – High Jump

James Preston – 800m

Sam Tanner – 1500m

Tom Walsh – Shot Put

***Athletes who have also been selected subject to achieving additional performance conditions as well as remaining high enough within the world rankings to fall inside the entry quota that World Athletics has set for each event.


Imogen Ayris – Pole vault

Portia Bing – 400m hurdles

Lauren Bruce – Hammer

Rosie Elliott – 400m

Keeley O’Hagan – High Jump

Tori Peeters – Javelin


Brad Mathas – 800m

Julian Oakley – 5000m

Ethan Olivier – Triple Jump

Welre Olivier – Triple Jump

Shay Veitch – Long Jump

Tiaan Whelpton – 100m