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Summer of athletics commences

The first weekend in October marks the traditional start of the summer athletics season. Have a look at key dates for the season ahead.

The first weekend in October marks the traditional start of the summer athletics season.

That said, interclub competition in Sydney & Melbourne won’t start until the following weekend. But already a bumper edition of the NSW All Schools Championships has taken place, and Little Athletics centres around the country are springing into action.

From an elite perspective, 2023 marks the middle year of an unprecedented five-year period where a global championships will be conducted annually:

  • Tokyo Olympics in 2021
  • Oregon World Championships in 2022
  • Budapest World Championships in 2023
  • Paris Olympic Games in 2024
  • Tokyo World Championships in 2025

And of course, for Australia that’s followed by a regionally hosted Commonwealth Games, with athletics in Ballarat from 22-28 March 2026.

2023 is also a year that features a World Cross Country Championships (in Bathurst, deferred since 2021 due to COVID), but not a World Indoor Championships (in Nanjing, deferred since 2020 and now to be held 2025, after a 2024 edition in Glasgow). There’s also the possibility of the World Relays Championships in China in May, but given the continual event cancellations in China, one wouldn’t hold their breath about the event going ahead, which would throw relay qualifying for world championships and Olympic Games into some chaos.

World Championships qualification for Budapest in 2023 will rely on World Rankings to a much greater degree than previous years, with World Athletics tightening automatic entry standards. For example, qualifying in the men’s 100m is 10.00 seconds, and 11.08s in the women’s event. This is reflective of the intent to only have half of the field in each event qualify by standard, and the other half on World Rankings.

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17 Australians have qualified by performance so far.

Domestic season opportunities will therefore be a chance for all other athletes to get a head start on amassing points prior to their European and US based counterparts… Dates for the domestic season are still to be confirmed, having briefly been published but then removed from the World Athletics and Oceania Athletics calendars in the past couple of weeks.

Here’s some key dates and events to look forward to during the season ahead, compiled based on World Athletics, Oceania Athletics, Athletics Australia and member associations published calendars. We’ll update this as more information becomes available.


  • Saturday 19 October – NSW 3000m Championships


  • Thursday 17 November – Victorian 5000m Championships


  • Saturday 3 December – Albie Thomas Mile
  • Friday 9 to Sunday 11 December – Australian All School Championships (Adelaide)
  • Thursday 15 December – Zatopek:10

Look back at last season’s Zatopek:10


  • Saturday 14 January – Illawarra Track Challenge
  • Sunday 15 January – Australian Cross Country Selection Trial (Canberra)


Look back at last season’s Adelaide Invitational and Melbourne Track Classics


  • Friday 3 to Sunday 5 March – WA Championships, SA Championships
  • Thursday 9 to Sunday 12 March – Queensland Championships
  • Saturday 11 March – Sydney Track Classic
  • 18 to 19 March – World Indoor Championships (Nanjing)
  • Saturday 25 March – Brisbane Track Classic
  • Thursday 30 March to Sunday 2 April – Australian Championships (Open & U20) – Brisbane

Look back at last season’s Sydney Track Classic, Brisbane Track Classic and Australian Championships


  • Saturday 8 to Monday 10 April – Stawell Gift
  • Wednesday 12 to Sunday 16 April – Australian Championships (U14 to U18, combined events & para) – Brisbane

Look back at last season’s Australian Junior Championships


  • Saturday 13 to Sunday 14 May – World Relay Championships (Guangzhou, China)


  • Sunday 30 July – Close of qualifying period for World Championships


  • Saturday 19 to Sunday 27 August – World Athletics Championships (Budapest)

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