Check out which Australians are on track to compete in the Games of the XXXIII Olympiad in the French capital.
For the first time in history there is parity in the number of events conducted for men and women, with the demise of the 50km Walk, which had been held for men on 20 occasions from 1932 – 1972 and then 1980 – 2021.
Similar to the 2023 World Championships in Budapest, the qualifying pathway is generally based on half of the field in each event qualifying by meeting an entry standard, with the remaining field selected based on World Athletics Rankings.
The entry standards are the toughest ever, but the most secure pathway to entry:
|Mile (for 1500m)||3:50.40||4:20.90|
|110m H / 100m H||13.27||12.77|
|Decathlon / Heptathlon||8460 points||6480 points|
There’s also the 4x100m, 4x400m, Mixed 4x400m and a for the first time, the Marathon Race Walk Mixed Relay. Qualification for these are predominantly based on performances at the World Relay Championships and World Race Walk Team Championships.
In some events these entry standards are tougher than the current Australian records. For men: 10000m, 110m hurdles, 3000m steeplechase, shot put; and women: 100m, triple jump and hammer throw.
Not to despair, the World Athletics Rankings have generally been a favourable pathway for Australian athletes since their introduction (see for example, how most of the Australian team qualified for the 2023 World Championships in Budapest). The rankings are complex, being based on a scoring table for the quality of a performance and then a placing score depending on the World Athletics status of a meet, averaged across five performances (or for less contested events, two or three performances).
“I can say with true conviction that 2024 is set to be the year of Australian athletics.” Peter Bromley, Athletics Australia CEO
“For some years now we have been building toward a resurgence of Australian athletics, and between our current crop of athletes lifting the standard across the world and more people than ever getting involved at the grassroots level back here in Australia, our sport is entering a new era,” said Athletics Australia CEO, Peter Bromley.
“The days of Betty Cuthbert and John Landy, and then later Catherine Freeman and Steve Hooker were once regarded as a Golden Era for our sport but I can say with true conviction that 2024 is set to be the year of Australian athletics.
“There is no better time to get around our sport and follow the journeys of our athletes on their way to the pinnacle – the Paris Olympic and Paralympic Games.”
The Australian domestic season is a prime point scoring opportunity for athletes to amass World Ranking points, being out of season for northern hemisphere athletes. In addition the Oceania Championships are a huge points bonanza. The competition is a far weaker overall standard than every other continental championship and also than the Australian Championships, which are also a significant scoring opportunity. Oceania Athletics are yet to announce the dates of the 2024 event, indicating they will be held somewhere in the Pacific in May or June.
Other prime meets for Australian athletes to contest are the Maurie Plant Meet – Melbourne, the Sydney Track Classic and the Brisbane Track Classic.
The qualifying period commenced:
- For the marathon: 1 November 2022
- For the 10000m, Decathlon/Heptathlon, 20km Walk and Relays: 31 December 2022
- For all other events: 1 July 2023
The marathon qualifying period has a few closing milestones: 30 January 2024 (for 80% of the quota to be filled) and 5 May 2024 (for the remainder). We’ll explain this one in a separate article in the coming weeks.
For all other events, 30 June 2024 is the end of the qualifying period.
At this stage the below Australian athletes have already met the entry standard since the start of the qualifying period and have a head start to gaining selection (assuming a selection criteria similar to recent Olympic and world championships, with this yet to be announced):
- 400m (45.00): Reece Holder 44.79
- 800m (1:44.70): Joseph Deng 1:43.99, Peter Bol 1:44.28
- 1500m (3:33.50): Stewart McSweyn 3:31.42, Adam Spencer 3:31.81, Cameron Myers 3:33.26
- Pole Vault (5.82m): Kurtis Marschall 5.95m
- Discus (67.20m): Matt Denny 68.24m
- Marathon (2:08:10): Brett Robinson 2:07:31
- 20km Walk (1:20:10): Declan Tingay 1:18:30, Kyle Swan 1:19:24, Rhydian Cowley 1:19:30
- 800m (1:59.30): Catriona Bisset 1:57.78, Abbey Caldwell 1:58.48
- 1500m (4:02.50): Linden Hall 3:56.92, Jessica Hull 3:57.29, Abbey Caldwell 3:59.79
- 5000m (14:52.00): Jessica Hull 14:44.24
- High Jump (1.97m): Nicola Olyslagers 2.02m, Eleanor Patterson 1.99m
- Pole Vault (4.73m): Nina Kennedy 4.91m
- Javelin (64.00m): Mackenzie Little 64.50m
- Marathon (2:26:50): Sinead Diver 2:21:34, Lisa Weightman 2:23:35
- 20km Walk (1:29:20): Jemima Montag 1:27:16, Rebecca Henderson 1:28:33, Olivia Sandery 1:28:52
Around January 2024 and through to 30 June 2024 we’ll begin to supplement this list with tracking the World Rankings for Australian athletes in contention for quota qualifying positions.
Key dates of the domestic season
The Australian season is starting to take shape with some meets confirmed on the World Athletics Calendar and others expected to be announced:
- Saturday 2 December: Zatopek:10 (Category F meet, but Category B for the 10000m)
- Saturday 23 December: Albie Thomas Mile (Australian mile championship)
- Saturday 10 February: Adelaide Invitational (Category D meet)
- Thursday 15 February: Maurie Plant Meet – Melbourne (Category A meet)
- Saturday 2 March: Canberra Track Classic
- Saturday 23 March: Sydney Track Classic (previously Category D meet)
- Thursday 11 – Sunday 14 April: Australian Championships, Adelaide (Category B meet)
- May or June (TBC): Oceania Championships (TBC) (Category A meet)
2023 World Championships in Photos
A huge gallery of over 2000 photos courtesy of Fred Etter.