A trio of Australian records over the final weekend of January sets the scene for a an exciting domestic season.
Cover photo of Nicola Olyslagers clearing the bar in Canberra. Photo by Fred Etter.
Nicola Olyslagers equalled her 2.03m record in the high jump in her season opening performance at the ACT Championships in Canberra. It’s an exceptional performance, especially for the time of year.
🔥 WOW .. statements made 🔥
McDermott🇦🇺 jumps the 2nd highest height ever jumped in January (2.03m) then ..
.. Mahuchikh🇺🇦 opens her season with a 2.04m indoors in Cottbus🇩🇪, equal highest height ever in January#ThisIsAthletics pic.twitter.com/63vIk0Or1N— @athsSTATS (@athsstats) January 31, 2024
Olyslagers is one of just 12 Australian athletes who are ranked in the top 25 in the world all-time list in an Olympic event.
Torrie Lewis‘s 100m record in Canberra, shaving one-hundredth-of-a-second off Melissa Breen’s previous mark set a decade ago on the same track with a run of 11.10 seconds, is also remarkable given Lewis is still a junior – so now holds the Australian Under 20 and Open records simultaneously. The former was 11.20 seconds set by Raelene Boyle in an Olympic fourth place performance.
“To me it is finally, I’ve been after times like these for what seems like ages now, never letting myself think too much of it but always wanting to get there,” Lewis said.
Lewis had previously threatened Boyle’s mark, with a wind-assisted 11.18 second run two years ago in Brisbane.
“That junior record which I have been very close to, I’m glad to get under it finally. I came into this competition not even really focusing on the 100m, wanting to focus more on the 200m [Sunday]. This is probably the most relaxed I have been in a competition and to be honest it paid off,” Lewis said.
Definitions of the junior age category have changed variously over the years – from age on the day of competition to age within a calendar year, and U19 and U18 for men and women before settling over recent generations to the Under 20 age group. Regardless of definition of junior records at the time, Lewis joins rarefied company of holding an Australian Open record while a teenager, joining the likes of Raelene Boyle, Herb Elliott, Maureen Caird, Darren Clark and Tim Forsyth.
Running indoors in Boston, Zatopek 10000m winner Lauren Ryan slashed almost 10 seconds off the Australian Short Track 5000m record previously held by Heidi See with a run of 15:15.79.
Also setting a new national record over the weekend was Queensland’s Peyton Craig, who ran 1:45.77 to eclipse the 30-year-old Australian Under 20 800m record held by former World Junior Champion, Paul Byrne; while Paralympic champion Vanessa Low set a World Best in the T61 Long Jump with a jump of 5.33m