A look back at the year through the lens of my camera (and that of some great contributors!)
In anticipation for the Zatopek:10 being rescheduled from December 2020 to Australia Day, I dusted off the camera at an Athletics Victoria High Velocity Club meet at Knox Park Athletics Centre a few days prior . The athletes made good use of the sprints being run down the back straight, which made for some nice clean track backgrounds shooting from up on the grass embankment.
Here Elizabeth Dingeldei crosses the line to take out the women’s B 100m race.
The Zatopek:10 remained at its 2019 venue, Hagenauer Reserve at Box Hill, which was popular with fans and athletes alike. Despite being held on Australia Day 2021 the meet was billed as the 2020 meet, in a similar way to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics retained its original name. Regardless of what you think of those naming conventions, on reflection its likely a sign of the optimism that existed at the time, that we wouldn’t need to be considering doing the same a year later… Alas, the originally scheduled December 2021 meet has also been pushed back to January 2022.
Brett Robinson above on his way to a comfortable victory in the men’s 10000m race.
From the synthetic to a grass oval not too far down the road from where I live… who wouldn’t want to get the camera out to watch world class athletes test their wears in a pro running carnival? The Parkdale Gift uniquely featured 2-mile events as their focus, which brought out the best of the Melbourne Track Club.
In this photo with about 200m to run Brett Robinson leads from Ryan Gregson, with Stewart McSweyn in red closing fast.
Another convenient meet for me to shoot as someone based in the south-eastern suburbs of Melbourne, this time a Victorian Milers Club meet at Duncan Mackinnon. Above Georgia Griffith sits in second on her way to an impressive 800m win in her first race back from injury, as she pursued Olympic selection.
The Melbourne Track Classic. Once the biggest meet on the domestic calendar. Not so much anymore. Nonetheless an enjoyable meet where I snapped this pic of Linda Leverton, who was back in action in the triple jump.
Like most in Australian athletics, I’m a big fan of the work that Casey Sims does behind the camera. At the Queensland Track Classic she was on assignment for Athletics Australia, who kindly shared images. Above Rohan Browning stamps his dominance on the 100m, running a 10.05 second personal best.
The Box Hill Classic. This was nothing short of a great meet. Honestly one of the most enjoyable I’ve been to anywhere in the roughly 30 years I’ve followed the sport. All brought about by some great people involved in a great grassroots athletics club. A popular venue, food trucks and a bar, atmosphere, and with great athletes and conditions, great performances.
It was a real privilege to watch Linden Hall become the first Australian woman to break four minutes for 1500m. The only downside is the lighting at Box Hill isn’t that flash, testing the limits of my ability with a camera.
The Australian Championships were in Sydney and I really liked this pic of one of the standout athletes of the season, Hana Basic, who went from being a rough outsider for a relay berth to cementing an individual spot in the 100m for Tokyo. It’s a meet I would have loved to have been at, with Nicola McDermott also clearing 2.00m for the first time. Below a great snap that David Tarbotton contributed of that stellar performance.
I really enjoy getting out to the Athletics Victoria XCR Series. The tribal nature of the strongest club cultures in Australian athletics is on display and there’s no better way to kick of the series with cross country relays at Jells Park.
In this pic Olympic marathoner the familiar sight of Liam Adams doing his service for Athletics Essendon.
Next stop in the AV XCR series was Warragul, located about 90 minutes south-east from Melbourne. A bit of a sadistic course with multiple creek crossings, which Andy Buchanan made light work of.
Another great contribution from David Tarbotton, who snapped Peter Bol on the Gold Coast on his way to running the Olympic qualifying time that had eluded him all summer.
Foggy conditions in the open at Cruden Farm for the Athletics Victoria XCR, but clearer shooting conditions amongst tree lined areas. Here Karinna Fyfe leads Rebekah Green in the 16km race.
Unfortunately this would be the last chance to take photos for a while, with COVID lockdowns required again in Melbourne.
The Olympic Games. What a meet! A few stunning world records and excellent contests. Some great Australian performances too with medals to Nicola McDermott, Ash Moloney and Kelsey-Lee Barber; and top 8 finishes to Peter Bol, Matt Denny, Eleanor Patterson, Brandon Starc, Linden Hall, Kathryn Mitchell, Jemima Montag, Stewart McSweyn, Brooke Stratton, Rhydian Cowley and Mackenzie Little.
Stewart McSweyn had a sparkling Diamond League series and was competitive against world class competition whenever he toed the line. We were fortunate to be provided with images by the organisers of the Diamond League.
Finally a chance to get the camera out again! Back to Box Hill for the first meet of the Victorian Milers Club series for 2021-22. I only had time to stay around for the 800m, and saw the first leg of an impressive double from Abbey Caldwell, who took out the 3000m later in the evening.
Final meet for me this year was the Victorian 5000m Championships at Lakeside Stadium. Here Tom Thorpe crosses the line for victory, breaking 14 minutes for the first time.
Are you interested in having your photography featured on Inside Athletics? Here’s a few ways I can help.
- The Australian Athletics Instagram Elite: Top Influencers of 2023In the age of social media, athletes have a unique platform to share their journeys, inspire fans, and promote their sport. Australian athletics is no exception.
- 10 things to know about this summer athletics season2024 is an Olympic year and all eyes for Australia’s athletes will be on qualifying for Paris.
- La route de Paris – 300 days until the athletics at the Olympic GamesCheck out which Australians are on track to compete in the Games of the XXXIII Olympiad in the French capital.
- Hull caps sensational year with 5th place in RigaJess Hull has finished a marathon length season with fifth place in the Mile at the World Road Running Championships in Riga, Latvia.
- 800m records at NSW All SchoolsIvy Boothroyd and Daniel Williams recorded the fastest 800m times in the 87 year history of the NSW All Schools Championships.