Cover photo of Brooke Buschkuehl (nee Stratton) competing at the 2019 Queensland Track Classic. Photo by Casey Sims.
Australia’s largest ever team for an international global championships will take to the track and to the field at the famed Hayward Field, in Oregon, USA for the World Athletics Championships.
The championships run from Friday 15 July to Sunday 24 July, with 63 athletes to don the green and gold.
50 athletes from the team will then compete at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham from Thursday 28 July to Monday 8 August, joined by 19 other athletes. The youngest three members of the World Championships team – Claudia Hollingsworth, Calab Law and Aidan Murphy – will travel instead to the World Junior Championships in Cali, Columbia from 1 – 6 August.
The intense sequencing of events is a result of COVID-19 disruption to the international athletics calendar and the delay of the 2020 Olympic Games to 2021. The World Athletics Championships are usually held in the odd numbered years between Olympic Games.
Oregon will be the 12th edition of the event, first conducted in 1983 where Rob de Castella won gold in the marathon. Held in 1987 and 1991, the event then has been held every two-years except for the most recent COVID-disruption.
Australia has won a medal at every edition of the championships except for 1991, with Kelsey-Lee Barber the most recent medal winner, as javelin champion in 2019 in Doha.
Here’s some notable information and trivia about the event and the Australian team:
- The World Championships will be broadcast live on SBS from 16 July, with on demand replays.
- For those who love statistics, World Athletics has released a 900-page Statistics Handbook.
- The final entry lists, by personal best, are available. However, some athletes listed won’t be competing, including a number facing visa issues preventing their entry into the United States, such as 9.77 second 100m sprinter Ferdinand Omanyala.
- 11 Australians are ranked in the top 8 on the entry lists based on their season’s bests:
- Brooke Buschkuehl (1st, long jump – recorded after close of entries)
- Jemima Montag (1st, 20km walk)
- Eleanor Patterson (2nd, high jump)
- Cedric Dubler (6th, decathlon)
- Nina Kennedy (6th, pole vault)
- Jessica Hull (7th, 1500m)
- Peter Bol (7th, 800m)
- Jack Rayner (7th, 10000m)
- Matt Denny (7th, discus)
- Nicole Olyslagers (8th, high jump)
- Mackenzie Little (8th, javelin)
- Calab Law (18 years, 200 days) and Claudia Hollingsworth (17 years, 101 days) are the fifth youngest Australian male and female athletes respectively to compete at the World Championships.
- Brandon Starc (high jump) and Riley Day (200m) are bypassing the event to focus on the Commonwealth Games, while recovering from injury.
- The average age of the team is 25.9 years, an increase of a year from the 2019 edition. This is influenced by 35km racewalker, Kelly Ruddick, making her debut at 49 years of age, becoming the oldest Australian athlete to compete at the championships. She will become the second oldest athlete ever to compete from any nation, behind Spanish racewalker Jesus Angel Garcia, who was just short of 50 years of age when competing in Doha in 2019.
- There’s some looming firsts in terms of anticipated performances:
- Peter Bol to become Australia’s first finalists over 800m; and
- Decathletes Ash Moloney and Cedric Dubler both set to beat the best finish by an Australian in the event (15th)
- Victoria has the most athletes on the team of any state, with 23. NSW and Queensland each have 16 athletes on the team.
- 33 clubs are represented, with powerhouses Sydney University and Queensland University of Technology both with five athletes on the team.
- Nic Bideau (5 athletes on the team) and Gary Bourne (3 athletes) are amongst 47 personal coaches with athletes on the team.
- The 63 athletes in the Australian team will be supported on the ground by 14 team managers/coaches and 9 medical staff.
- Eugene is the smallest city to ever host the championships. With a population of 170,000 people, it is similar in size to Townsville.
Here’s a guide to the athletes in the Australian teams for the World Championships and Commonwealth Games:
|Liz Clay||100m H|
|Celeste Mucci||100m H|
|Michelle Jenneke||100m H|
|Sarah Carli||400m H|
|Amy Cashin||3000m St|
|Brielle Erbacher||3000m St|
|Cara Feain-Ryan||3000m St|
|Jemima Montag||20km W/10000m W|
|Rebecca Henderson||20km W/10000m W|
|Katie Hayward||20km W/10000m W|
|Kelly Ruddick||35km W|
|Nicola Olyslagers||High Jump|
|Eleanor Patterson||High Jump|
|Nina Kennedy||Pole Vault|
|Brooke Buschkuehl||Long Jump|
|Samantha Dale||Long Jump|
|Nick Hough||110m H|
|Chris Douglas||110m H|
|Ed Trippas||3000m St|
|Ben Buckingham||3000m St|
|Declan Tingay||20km W/10000m W|
|Rhydian Cowley||20km W/10000m W|
|Kyle Swan||20km W/10000m W|
|Rhydian Cowley||35km W|
|Carl Gibbons||35km W|
|Brandon Starc||High Jump|
|Joel Baden||High Jump|
|Yual Reath||High Jump|
|Kurtis Marschall||Pole Vault|
|Angus Armstrong||Pole Vault|
|Chris Mitrevski||Long Jump|
|Henry Frayner||Long Jump|
|Julian Konle||Triple Jump|
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