Athletics fans rejoice – THE WAIT IS OVER!!
Competition at the 2012 London Olympic Games begins tomorrow, with eleven track and field charges set to don the green and gold.
The first Australian onto the hallowed field of the Olympic stadium is debutant Dale Stevenson (Vic).
He will compete in the qualifying rounds of the men’s shot put (7:00pm AEST 03.08.12), with the 24-year-old needing to hit a personal best 20.65m to automatically advance to the round of 12. The final will be held in the evening session on day one (5:30am AEST 04.08.12).
Joining Stevenson on entry lists for the morning session is Brendan Cole (ACT), Tristan Thomas (Tas) and Youcef Abdi (NSW).
Cole, who ensured his automatic nomination to the team after a blistering 49.39 to win at the Qantas Melbourne Track Classic & Olympic Trials, will line up in heat one (8:15pm AEST 03.08.12) of the 400m hurdles before Thomas takes to the track three races later in heat four (8:36pm AEST 03.08.12).
Both Cole and Thomas are Australian Institute of Sport scholarship holders and to automatically advance to the semi-finals will need to finish in the top-three. A further six athletes will progress based on time.
Sixth placed in the 3000m steeplechase final at the Beijing Olympic Games four years ago, Abdi arrives in London (GBR) with a season best of 8:21.98. He will start in heat two (10:15pm AEST 03.08.12).
The evening session on day one features two finals – the men’s shot put and the women’s 10,000m.
It is hoped that Stevenson will fly the Australian flag in the shot put final, while Eloise Wellings (NSW) is the green and gold hope in the 10,000m (6:25am AEST 04.08.12).
Ryan Gregson (NSW), meanwhile, will take to the track in the men’s 1500m. Set to start in heat one (5:05am AEST 04.08.12) and boasting a personal best of 3:31.06, the 22-year-old must cross in the top six to progress.
Also set to compete is Melissa Breen (ACT) in the heats of the women’s 100m (4:05am AEST 04.08.12) and major championship medallists Dani Samuels (NSW), Mitchell Watt (Qld) and Henry Frayne (Qld) in field events.
Samuels needs to throw 63.00m to automatically advance from Group A in the women’s discus (4:10am AEST 04.08.12). Competing simultaneously in Group A and Group B of the men’s long jump (4:50am AEST 04.08.12) respectively, Frayne and Watt have to soar 8.10m to progress to the round of 12.
For more information, including entry lists and results, on the athletics competition at the 2012 London Olympic Games, please follow this link to the IAAF website.
Stay tuned to @AthsAust on Twitter for updates as they happen, and become a fan of the Australian Flame on Facebook to send your support on the Australian athletics team.
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