Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?


1500m heats set the scene at Australian Championships

In the men’s 1500m heats Olli Hoare, Stewart McSweyn and Cameron Myers seemed a class above while two of the favourites didn’t line up in the women’s 1500m.

In the men’s 1500m heats Olli Hoare, Stewart McSweyn and Cameron Myers seemed a class above while two of the favourites didn’t line up in the women’s 1500m.

Photos by Fred Etter

The three favourites took out their heats in 3:38.80, 3:39.67 and 3:41.54 respectively, with Adam Spencer, Jesse Hunt, Jack Anstey and reigning champion Callum Davies the only athletes to keep up across the heats.

Hoare’s race was his first since setting the Australian record last year and showed now sign of cobwebs, while McSweyn and Myers looked effortless in their heat wins. Saturday’s final looks set to be a classic.

What’s on the line?

The Australian Championships aren’t a selection trial for the Olympics, so there’s no guarantee that a specific performance in Adelaide secures selection.

There is the opportunity, but not the promise, of gaining Olympic selection in the first phase of selections for any athlete who has a qualifying standard and finishes in the top two. That would apply to any of Myers, McSweyn or Spencer (or any other athlete should they better the 3:33.50 standard in the final). But any selection post nationals is purely at the discretion of selectors – they may choose to select 2, 1 or 0 athletes, and leave remaining selections to the end of the qualifying period in June, which again are discretionary. Head to head contests are usually considered and that’s what Nationals provides – and what a contest it will be.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

In the women’s 1500m Jessica Hull, Linden Hall and Georgia Griffith will line up as favourites in the final, with Abbey Caldwell and Claudia Hollingsworth not contesting the heats to focus solely on the 800m. Hull was the fastest qualifier, winning her heat by four seconds in a walk-in-the-park 4:14.08 (3000m pace for her).

In the 400m first round Steven Solomon was a scratching and all of the main protagonists qualified to the semi-finals without concern. Reigning champion Luke Van Ratingen was the fastest at 46.54s while Cooper Sherman had the easiest passage through of heat winners at 47.37s.

The U20 100m finals were run and won with Gout Gout claiming the men’s title in 10.48s and Aleksandra Stoilova the women’s in an equal championship record of 11.46s (-0.3) in a deep field. Stoilova, who has run a wind-assisted 11.15s this year, will also line up in the open women’s 100m.

Declan Tingay. Photo by Casey Sims courtesy of Athletics Australia.

In other events Declan Tingay (38:07.88) and Jemima Montag (43:53.80) took out the 10000m walk, with Isaac Beacroft bettering Tingay’s Australian U20 record in taking out the junior event in 40:44.47.

Matt Denny was impressive in the qualifying round of the discus, sending the discus out to a season’s best 66.68m.

Top seeded Camryn Newton-Smith leads the Heptathlon after a sensational day one performance where she was the top performer in three of the four events, and the second best in the other. She’s on track to improve her personal best of 6050 points and 6th place on the Australian all-time list and perhaps achieve a much larger score that could put her in a position to challenge for a quota position for the Olympic Games.

Day 1 Photo Highlights

Photo gallery from Fred Etter here. The full gallery will be uploaded after the meet.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.