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Two and Two: Olyslagers soars as Hollingsworth wins 800m

World indoor champion Nicola Olyslagers showed her world-class talent in again clearing 2 metres while Claudia Hollingsworth outclassed an 800m field that saw four athletes break 2 minutes.

World indoor champion Nicola Olyslagers showed her world-class talent in again clearing 2 metres while Claudia Hollingsworth outclassed an 800m field that saw four athletes break 2 minutes.

Cover image of Nicola Olyslagers by Fred Etter

Olyslagers entered the competition at 1.89m and made soaring clearances through 1.92m, 1.95m and 1.97m where the competition was essentially won. Eleanor Patterson is jumping herself into form and cleared 1.95m before taking attempts at 1.97m and 1.99m with true competitive spirit.

Olyslagers went clear on her second attempt at 1.99m and did the same at 2.01m. She then raised the bar to 2.06m, three centimetres higher than her own national record, a mark that is equal 7th on the global all-time list. It wasn’t to be, with three misses.

“At World Indoors I went from 1.99m to 2.02m and I felt like the intensity in me wasn’t there, and I had a chat to a few other athletes, and they said that when they feel that in competition, they put the bar up to another height that they desire to jump. Ultimately you can’t jump higher unless you try to jump higher,” Olyslagers said.

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Photo by Fred Etter

In the 800m national record holder Catriona Bisset took up the running, taking the field through the bell in a fast 58 seconds. But entering the straight it was clear that it was going to be one of Abbey Caldwell, Claudia Hollingsworth or Bendere Oboya that would take line honours. Showing great strength Hollingsworth pulled away over the final 50 metres, lowering her personal best and Australian junior record to 1:58.40.

Caldwell was second in 1:59.01 ahead of Oboya in 1:59.33, while Bisset clocked a season’s best 1:59.87. In fifth US college based Hayley Kitching lowered her personal best to 2:00.70.

“Before I was super nervous and throughout the race there wasn’t really one point where I felt relaxed. I was quite a way back but I just trusted my back end speed and ability,” Hollingsworth said.

“My birthday was actually on Friday so that was a bit of a nothing day, I was just sitting at home all day getting nervous! Today is definitely a big birthday present.”

Photo by Casey Sims for Athletics Australia

Christopher Mitrevski leapt to a huge 8.32m personal best with his final jump of the competition, surpassing the Olympic qualifying standard and moving him to sixth on the Australian all-time list.

“I didn’t know what an 8.30m jump felt like because I’ve never done it before, but it felt better than anything I’ve ever done. I just had so much time in the air,” Mitrevski said.

“I had a pretty good Nationals a few years ago where I scratched the surface and started to believe that I could push for a medal and not just be a number. I hope this is a step toward consistency and jumping even further.”

Australian All-Time Long Jump – at 14 April 2024

  1. Mitchell Watt 8.54m
  2. Jai Taurima 8.49m
  3. Fabrice Lapierre 8.40m
  4. Henry Frayne 8.34m
  5. Chris Noffke 8.33m
  6. Christopher Mitrevski 8.32m
  7. Peter Burge 8.30m
  8. Gary Honey 8.27m
  9. Shane Hair 8.24m
  10. Darcy Roper 8.20m

Photo by Casey Sims for Athletics Australia

Luke Boyes fell just short of the Olympic qualifying standard in taking victory in the men’s 800m with an inspired run against Olympic finalist Peter Bol.

Bol looked to have victory when he hit the lead with 50 metres remaining after Boyes had taken up all of the running, but the 20-year-old Sydneysider rallied to regain the lead and take victory in 1:44.73. The performance was just three-hundredths-of-a-second short of the Olympic qualifying standard and moved Boyes to seventh on the Australian all-time list. Bol was second in 1:45.06 with junior Peyton Craig third in 1:45.76.

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Australian All-Time 800m – at 14 April 2024

  1. Joseph Deng 1:43.99
  2. Peter Bol 1:44.00
  3. Charlie Hunter 1:44.35
  4. Ralph Doubell 1:44.40
  5. Alex Rowe 1:44.40
  6. Jeff Riseley 1:44.48
  7. Luke Boyes 1:44.73
  8. Peter Bourke 1:44.78
  9. Brendan Hanigan 1:45.03
  10. Luke Mathews 1:45.16

Photo by Fred Etter

The 5000m races came down to a wind up over the final two kilometres, with the men covering the final five laps in 5 minutes, 4 seconds and the women 5 minutes, 50 seconds. But the sprint finishes over the final lap led to two very different results, with Matthew Ramsden taking an inside run in the final strides of the race to defeat Morgan McDonald by 0.05s in 13:39.61, while Rose Davies kicked away strongly over the final 250m to win by over three seconds from Lauren Ryan in 15:21.62.

Photo by Fred Etter

In the long jump Brooke Buschkuehl’s experience came to the fore, producing a consistent series of jumps where any of her four legal jumps would have been enough for victory. Buschkuehl’s best jump was 6.50m, with Tomysha Clark second in 6.35m, and Elizabeth Hedding third on a count back from Samantha Dale with two jumps of 6.30m to Dale’s 6.30m and next best 6.20m.

Photo by Fred Etter

Torrie Lewis set a new personal best of 22.94s in the semi-final of the 200m before defending her title in the final with a run of 23.05s. The minor medals were taken out by Mia Gross (23.39s) and Riley Day (23.65s) who were split by New Zealand’s Georgina Hull (23.42s)

The 200m looked set up to be a thrilling contest between semi-final winners Calab Law (20.67s into a 1.2 m/s headwind) and 100m champion Sebastian Sultana (a 20.61s PB into a 1.1 m/s headwind). However, Sultana did not line up for the final, leaving Law to record an easy victory in 20.54 seconds (-1.0).

Photo by Casey Sims for Athletics Australia

Michelle Jenneke overcame illness to record a season’ best and convincing win in the 100m hurdles in 12.88s (0.) ahead of Liz Clay (13.03) and Danielle Shaw (13.08). Chris Douglas took out the men’s 110m race in a personal best 13.59s ahead of Tayleb Willis (13.62s PB) and Nicholas Andrews (13.98s).

In the long hurdles Sarah Carli clocked a swift 54.98s ahead of personal bests from Marli Wilkinson (56.11) and Isabella Guthrie (57.19). Thomas Hunt took out his maiden national title in the men’s race in 50.81s, finishing second behind Taipei’s Chieh Chen (50.66).

Kurtis Marschall took out the pole vault with a jump of 5.62m.

Initial Olympic selections made

19-year-old Claudia Hollingsworth celebrates her Olympic selection. Photo by Casey Sims for Athletics Australia.

Under the Nomination Policy for the Olympic Games Athletics Australia’s selectors had the discretion of selecting any athlete who finished first or second, had the Olympic qualifying standard and who had competed in a Track Classic meet during the season. The last criteria meant world champion Nina Kennedy, fellow pole vaulter Kurtis Marschall, world championship bronze medalist Mackenzie Little and 1500m champion Adam Spencer were not eligible to be selected. Spencer, speaking after his race on Saturday, suggested that selections in the cut-throat 1500m should be made just prior to the Games.


800m                 Claudia Hollingsworth, Abbey Caldwell

1500m              Jessica Hull

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10000m            Lauren Ryan

100m H            Michelle Jenneke

High Jump      Nicola Olyslagers, Eleanor Patterson

20km Walk     Jemima Montag, Rebecca Henderson


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800m                 Peter Bol

Long Jump      Christopher Mitrevski

Discus              Matt Denny

20km Walk     Kyle Swan, Rhydian Cowley

Photo Gallery

Highlights of Day 4 of the are in this gallery with thanks to Fred Etter. Download photos using the code you receive when you subscribe to our newsletter.

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