Select State
Select the search type
  • Site
  • Web
Latest News

57-strong Australian team confirmed for Tampere 2018

Monday, 26 March 2018 | Athletics Australia



The Finish city of Tempere will be the destination in July of 57 future stars of Australian track and field as the city will host the 16th IAAF World Under 20 Championships from July 10 to 15. The championships are the pinnacle for junior athletes, where over 160 countries compete for international honours.

Athletics Australia’s Chief Executive Officer, Darren Gocher was brimming with excitement of the team named today.

“Athletics Australia is fortunate to work alongside these athletes and their hard-working personal coaches.  This talented crop of juniors shows how exciting the future of athletics is in Australia.   We look forward to giving our continued support via our National Junior Coaches, team coaches, medical staff and managers from now until Finland”.

The selections are highlighted by one very special achievement, that of para-athlete Jaryd Clifford in the men’s 1500m. He did everything right at the World U20 team trial/Australian Championships in March, by winning the trial race. But he remained just outside the qualifying standard, with he had one final opportunity, 24 hours later in the Sydney Track Classic. Running in the evening, where his visual impairment is more of a challenge, he tracked the fluro singlet of Paralympic team mate, Michael Roeger. They both ran magnificently, clocking senior world records in the para classes and Clifford’s PB of 3:45.18 was also the highly sort after world U20 qualifier.

The Australian team includes a good mixed or emerging talent and internationally experienced athletes. The women’s 4x400m relay typifies this. The team includes Ella Connolly who in 2017 competed at the Commonwealth Youth Games and senior world championships, alongside Commonwealth Youth Games individual gold medallists Bendere Oboya (400m) and Carley Thomas (800m). But they will be well supported by two athletes making their international debuts but with high quality 400/800m performances - Jemima Russell (55.36/2:04.89) and Cara Jardine (54.39/2:06.29).

It is pleasing to see the team boasting three athletes, Riley Day, Celeste Mucci and Bendere Oboya who will next month represent Australia at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Gams ahead of joining the junior team for Tempere. It is a unique situation that occurred in 2006 when Dani Stevens, Lauren Wells, Vicky Parnov competed at the Melbourne Commonwealth Games ahead of the IAAF World Junior Championships in Beijing. Similarly, in 1990 Cathy Freeman, Tim Forsyth, Kyle vander Kuyp, Paul Greene, Simon Hollingsworth, Rohan Robinson, and Susan Andrews achieved this feat competed at the Auckland Commonwealth Games in February and the 1990 World Juniors Plovdiv Bulgaria.  Interesting to note how dominate the 1990 and 2006 athletes would be over the following decade in their sport.

It was pleased to see former world junior stars, Melinda Gainsford-Taylor and Paul Burgess, who in recent years moved into the coaching ranks, place athletes on the team. Gainsford-Taylor who competed at the 1990 world juniors, coaches relay team member Kristie Edwards. Burgess who won world junior gold, coaches Perth pole vaulter Lauren Hyde-Cooling. Other current team coaches who competed at the world juniors include Matt Beckenham and Jayden Russ.

For more information on the IAAF World Junior Championships, please follow this link to


IAAF World Under 20 Championships
Tampere, Finland
10-15 July 2018

Australian team - 2018 IAAF World Junior Championships

GIRLS (31):
Event, athlete, state, (coach)


Mia Gross VIC (Joe Gulli), Riley Day QLD (Donna Thomas)


Mia Gross, Riley Day


Ella Connolly QLD (Gary Patterson), Bendere Oboya NSW (Greg Smith)


Carley Thomas NSW (Penny Gillies), Jemima Russell VIC (Peter Fortune)


Sarah Eckel SA (Adam Didyk), Abbey Caldwell VIC (Gavin Burren)


Amelia Mazza-Downie VIC (Nic Bideau) Lara Crouch, QLD (Jayden Russ)


Clio Ozanne-Jaques QLD (Ryan Vanhoy)

100m Hurdles

Lateisha Willis VIC (Peter Benifer), Samantha Johnson QLD (Mick Hooper)

400m Hurdles

Jarmillia Murphy-Knight QLD (Diane Sheppard), Annamaria Leszcynska ACT (Suzan Fulop)

3000m Steeple

Montanna McAvoy QLD (Jayden Russ), Brielle Erbacher QLD (Jody Erbacher)

Pole Vault

Lauren Hyde-Cooling WA (Paul Burgess)

Long Jump

Grace Brennan ACT (Philip Alchin)


Talosaga Kia QLD (Mick Moore)


Louise Mendes VIC (Demetri Dionisopoulos), Caitlyn Hester QLD (Des Davis)


Lara Ilievski WA (Grant Ward), Alexandra Roberts QLD (Ben Thompson)


Camryn Newton-Smith QLD (Ralph Newton), Celeste Mucci VIC (Darren Clark)

10,000m Walk

Katie Hayward QLD (Steve Langley)

4 x 100m relay

Mia Gross, Riley Day, Kristie Edwards NSW (Melinda Gainsford-Taylor), Nana Owusu-Afiyie VIC (Tony Marsh), Tamara Hotten QLD (Gary Patterson)

4 x 400m relay

Ella Connolly, Bendere Oboya, Carley Thomas, Cara Jardine QLD (Judith Jardine), Jemima Russell


BOYS (26):


Zane Branco QLD (Mick Hooper/ Bec Brice), Jara Konteh VIC (Steve Gaffney)


Tyler Gunn NSW (Mick Zisti), Christian Davis VIC (Anula Costa)


Lachlan Raper NSW (Ben Liddy), Archie Wallis VIC (Sean Whipp)


Jarryd Clifford VIC (Philo Saunders), Callum Davies QLD (Brian Chapman)


Joshua Torley ACT (Paul Torley)

400m Hurdles

Harvey Murrant VIC (Joe Gulli)

Long Jump

Ben Scmidtchen QLD (Gary Bourne), Zane Branco

Shot Put

Alexander Kolesnikoff NSW (David Bruce/Allan Sadul), Aiden Harvey NSW (David Bruce)


Conor McLoughlin QLD (Grahame Pitt), Alexander Kolesnikoff


James Joycey VIC (Bruce Joycey)


Cameron McEntyre NSW (Angus McEntyre), Nash Lowis QLD (Leslye Muller)


Ashley Moloney QLD (Eric Brown), Gary Hassbroek VIC (Steve Cain)

10,000m Walk

Declan Tingay WA (Steven Tingay), Kyle Swan VIC (Brent Vallance)

4 x 100m Relay

Zane Branco, Tom Agnew ACT (Matthew Beckenham), Harrison Hunt SA (Dylan Hicks), Joshua Azzopardi NSW (Rob Marks), Jara Konteh

4 x 400m Relay

Tyler Gunn, Christian Davies, Jack Geary QLD (Daniel Williams), Adam Kopp WA (Brian Pozzi), Harvey Murrant




For more information please contact Athletics Australia’s GM Commercial

Belinda Symes, +61 419 293 401,



Athletics Australia
Athletics House
Level 2, 31 Aughtie Drive
Albert Park  VIC 3206

P +61 3 8646 4550
F +61 3 8646 4560