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Melbourne’s Maurie Plant Meet the top in nation

Melbourne is home to Australia’s most successful athletics meet for the first time since 2016 according to data released by World Athletics.

Melbourne is home to Australia’s most successful athletics meet for the first time since 2016 according to data released by World Athletics.

Cover image of Fred Kerley in action at the 2023 Maurie Plant Meet. Photo courtesy of Athletics Australia.

February’s inaugural Maurie Plant Meet just pipped the Brisbane Track Classic and Sydney Track Classic as the top Australian Invitational Meet on World Athletics’s Competition Performance Rankings. The Rankings use the same scoring tables as athlete World Rankings, and assesses the depth and quality of performers and performances across a meet.

1Maurie Plant Meet – Melbourne81958
2Brisbane Track Classic81687
3Sydney Track Classic81251
4Adelaide Track Classic76615
5Denise Boyd Shield – Brisbane67247
Top 5 Australian meets in 2023 World Athletics Invitational Competition Rankings

The Maurie Plant Meet, Brisbane and Sydney all scored higher than any Australian domestic meet since the 2018 Queensland International Track Classic held in the lead in to the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games. And you then need to look back as far as the Melbourne World Athletics Challenge in 2006 to find a meet that ranked higher than the Maurie Plant Meet.

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Across World Athletics’s data, which stretches back to 2001, Melbourne has hosted Australia’s top meet on 9 occasions, ahead of Sydney (7), Brisbane (5) and Canberra (2). Click the dots on the interactive graph below to see each year’s top meet.

The Australian Championships hit an all-time high, topping the 2018 Championships. The NSW Championships was the top State Championship, just nudging out the Australian U20 Championships in terms of quality. As an interesting comparison, the 2022 Oceania Championships scored 149236 points.

1Australian Championships160596
2NSW Championships145643
3Australlian U20 Championships144063
4ACT Championships143342
5Queensland Championships142263
6Victorian Championships138353
7Australian U18 Championships136626
8NSW U20 Championships134162
9WA Championships132155
10Victorian Country Championships126513
Top 10 Australian Championship meets in 2023 World Athletics Competition Rankings
Jessica Hull celebrates as she wins the Australian 1500m title. Photo by Fred Etter.

There’s some interesting event level information within World Athletics calculations: the men’s Mile at the Maurie Plant Meet being statistically judged the top event, while the women’s 1500m at the Australian Championships was the top billed event of Nationals.

From the Australian U20 Championships the women’s 100m was the top event, while the corresponding event at the U18 Championships also came out on top, highlighting a strong next generation of sprinters.