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Top 5 events to look out for at the Adelaide Invitational

The domestic season heats up today at the Adelaide Invitational.

The domestic season heats up today at the Adelaide Invitational.

Cover image: Bendere Oboya beats Tess Kirsopp-Cole to the line over 800m at the 2022 Adelaide Invitational. Photo by Jeff Wray.

With a sunny 28 degrees forecast for the 6pm ACDT start time cooling to 19 degrees by the end of the meet, there should be excellent conditions for athletics for sprinters, distance and field eventers alike.

Here’s our top 5 events we’re keen to keep an eye on:

Catriona Bisset in action at the 2023 Australian Championships. Photo by Fred Etter.

Women’s 800m

An all-star line up features four of the 10 fastest Australian women of all-time:

  • Australian record holder, Catriona Bisset (1:57.78)
  • #2, Abbey Caldwell (1:58.48)
  • #5, Australian 1500m record holder Linden Hall (1:59.22)
  • #10, Rio Olympian, Morgan Mitchell (2:00.06)

Bisset, Caldwell and Hall always line up ready to show world class form and already have Olympic qualifiers to their name (Bisset over 800m, Caldwell over both 800m and 1500m, Hall in the 1500m), with Adelaide serving as the season opener for each over two laps. Bisset has run a couple of 400 races in the 53 second range, so her speed is ready.

“The standard of middle distance running in this country is rising every year which means I’ve had to lift my game too,” Bisset said.

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“The last few months of life and training have been boring in a good way; hard sessions and hard on the naps, so I’m keen to run a fast time.”

Also in the field is USA’s Brooke Feldmeier. 28-year-old former NCAA Champion has a 1:59.08 personal best set in 2022 and adds some international flavour to the meet.

With 2:01 bests, Bendere Oboya and Tess Kirsopp-Cole will be hoping that a fast race might drag them to a new PB. Returning to the two lap distance for the first time since returning to the sport this season, Oboya fleeced the field over 600m in December at the Zatopek:10, has the season leading mark over 400m with a 52.26s run at the ACT Championships. 2022 World Championships representative, Tess Kirsopp-Cole, has a 2:03 run on the board from her season opener.

With an even bigger 800m on the schedule for next Thursday’s Maurie Plant Meet, with Bisset, Caldwell, Hall, Fledmeier and Oboya being joined by China’s Chunyu Wang (1:57.00) and 2:00 Australian athletes Georgia Griffith, Imogen Barret and Ellie Sandford, the Adelaide race serves as an important earlier season marker.

Final of the 2023 Australian 200m titles. Photo by Fred Etter.

Women’s 200m

How fast will new Australian 100m record holder, Torrie Lewis, go?

After a 11.10 second run at the ACT Championships, the 19-year-old’s personal best of 23.02 seconds will surely be under threat. Noting that Lewis is still a junior, Raelene Boyle’s 22.76s Australian U20 record is one to keep an eye on this season.

“My favourite event these days is just what I’m doing better in. So right now, the 100m is my favourite, but maybe after this weekend the 200m can get that favourite spot back again. The field is looking really strong, the Adelaide crowd always gets behind us and the atmosphere is really great there,” Lewis said.

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“I always aim for my 100m’s and 200m’s to be as good as each other, so the 200m has some catching up to do and hopefully I can get that started on the weekend.”

That’s not to say that Lewis will have the race to herself, with strong competition from Ella Connolly and New Zealanders Georgia Hulls (22.84 PB) and Rosie Elliot (22.81 PB).

Head-to-head, Connolly has beaten Lewis in 6 of their 7 races since 2021, most recently at the 2023 Australian Championships. Lewis has a better placing record against Hull and Elliot, but on the flip-side, Hulls has a 3-2 record against Connolly.

What to make of it? An exciting race.

Connolly has a 22.96s PB and the Australian season leading time so far at 23.06 seconds, along with second place over 100m with 11.26 seconds. The latter was set on the same day that she set the Australian 60m short track record at the Wollongong Track Challenge in January, with a X run.

Add to the field low 23 second runners in junior Jessica Milat (23.26s), national relay squad member Mia Gross (23.33s), and Adelaide local Lakara Stallan (23.34s) and it’s certain to be an exceptional contest.

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Men’s 800m

The ACT Championships was the first fast race of the season and with record depth last season over two laps, the 50.5 seconds requested of the pacemaker for the Adelaide Track Classic will set up the potential for further breakthroughs.

Australian record holder Joseph Deng is in the field and his 1:43.99 personal best is over a second better than the next best in the field, New Zealand’s James Preston, who has a 1:45.30 best.

New Australian U20 record holder, Peyton Craig, has the early season form on the board with his breakthrough 1:45.77 run at the ACT Championships. Jack Lunn was second in that race in 1:46.25, just half a second off his personal best. Other 1:46 performers from last season, national champion Riley McGown, James Harrison and Luke Boyes add to competitiveness of the field.

With the qualifying standard for the Olympics a swift 1:44.70 the race for ranking points will be a fascinating one during the domestic season, with times and places at a premium.

Cameron Myers in action at the 2023 Maurie Plant Meet. Photo by Fred Etter.

Men’s 1500m

The John Landy Mile on Thursday at the Maurie Plant Meet in Melbourne is shaping up as a cracker, and this 1500m in Adelaide will be the first fast race over the metric mile for the season.

Fresh from a season opening 1:47.11 PB over 800m all eyes will be on 17-year-old Cameron Myers. With a 3:33 PB and Olympic qualifier already to his name, he’ll test himself against a field that includes Olympian Jye Edwards (3:33 PB) and sub-3:40 runners such as national champion Callum Davies (3:37), Jesse Hunt (3:37), Jude Thomas (3:38), Japan’s Ryoji Tatezawa (3:38) and Ethiopia’s Yohanes Asmare (3:38). Peter Bol was set to compete, but has a minor hamstring injury which will keep him from lining up.

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Jacob Despard leading the field at the 2022 Melbourne Track Classic

Men’s 100m

When you have a field with a sub-10 second runner at one end, and a slowest PB of 10.31s at the other, you have a recipe for a good 100m race.

Japan’s Ryota Yamagata has a 9.95 second best and will test his form before lining up at next week’s Maurie Plant Meet in Melbourne. Australia’s fastest man, Rohan Browning, won’t race in Adelaide before attempting the sprint double in Melbourne, but the likes of Jacob Despard and Josh Azzopardi (both 10.15s already this season) and Jake Penny (10.18 this season, 10.14 PB) will provide a challenge.

Add to the mix Christopher Ius (10.24) and Dhruv Rodrigues Chico (10.21; and now back competing for Australia after having changed his allegiance to New Zealand for just over a year) as well as Japanese athletes Bruno Chikawadoryo Dede (10.19) and Sota Miwa (10.31) and it’s a strong field.

The track record at the SA Athletics Stadium is a 10.12 by Rohan Browning set in 2022, which will be under serious threat.

In the field events to note include the discus where Matt Denny lines up against 65m + throwers Lawrence Okoyo and Nicholas Percy of Great Britain and New Zealand’s Connor Bell; and the triple jump where Connor Murphy, Aiden Hinson and Julian Konle line up with PBs from 16.61m to 16.72m and will striving from the 17m barrier.

We’ll be providing an in-depth meet recap and photo gallery post event. To watch the event live tune in to 7Plus from 7:30pm AEDT.

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Look back at recent Adelaide Invitational results: