Twenty-five outstanding athletes are officially headed to the IAAF World Championships in Moscow (RUS), with Athletics Australia Selectors today confirming the addition of 14 automatic selections to the Australian Flame after their performances at the Qantas Australian Athletics Championships this past weekend.
Added to the team in individual events after winning the national title with an IAAF World Championships A-Qualifier are London Olympians Julian Wruck (Qld, discus throw) and Kim Mickle (WA, javelin), with the impressive duo to be joined by B-Qualified national champions Alana Boyd (Qld, pole vault), Lauren Boden (ACT, 400mH), Zoe Buckman (ACT, 1500m), Kelly Hetherington (Vic, 800m), Tristan Thomas (Tas, 400mH), Brandon Starc (NSW, high jump) and Josh Ross (Vic, 200m).
Ross’ national title in the men’s 100m also ensures he will compete in the men’s 4x100m relay alongside fellow automatic selections Tim Leathart (NSW) and Jarrod Geddes (NSW), while the men’s 4x400m relay team as of today includes Alex Beck (Qld), Ben Offereins (WA) and Joshua Ralph (NSW).
“The intention of the Selection Policy for the IAAF World Championships is to select the strongest possible team to represent Australia, and following the Qantas Australian Athletics Championships and Selection Trial across the weekend it is exciting to announce the automatic selection of athletes to the Australian Flame Team for Moscow,” Dion Russell, Chairman of Selectors, said.
“To be eligible for Automatic Selection athletes needed to compete at designated Qantas Australian Athletics Tour events, as well as at the Australian Athletics Championships. The Selection Policy positioned the Nationals as the centrepiece for selection to this year’s World Championship Team and it was pleasing to see a number of athletes make the most of this opportunity and select themselves based on their performances across the Australian domestic season.
“I would like to congratulate all the automatically selected athletes on their performances in Sydney last weekend, especially those that will now make their senior international debut in Moscow.
A further six female athletes – Ashleigh Whittaker (Vic, 4x100m), Margaret Gayen (SA, 4x100m), Angela Byrt (Vic, 4x100m), Caitlin Sargent (Qld, 4x400m), Anneliese Rubie (NSW, 4x400m), Jacinta Doyle (Qld, 4x400m) - have been automatically selected to the team pending the qualification of the women’s 4x100m and 4x400m relay teams.
“As of today, we now have 25 athletes confirmed as competing at the World Championships, and should the women’s relay teams qualify this number will immediately grow to 31 thanks to the Selection Policy stipulating that the first three athletes in the 100m and 400m individual events earn instant relay selection,” Russell added.
“We also have a couple of A-Qualified athletes, Melissa Breen in the 100m and Dani Samuels in the discus, who had medical exemptions from the Australian Championships last weekend, and whilst they aren’t eligible for automatic selection, once they return to full fitness we will then be in a position to confirm their selections to the Team.
“Collis Birmingham (Vic, 10,000m), who has qualified by virtue of his performance at the World Cross Country Championships last month, is also ineligible for automatic selection and will be considered by the Selectors along with any other remaining qualified athletes at the Final Selectors Meeting in July.”
The 14 athletes selected today join pre-selected charges Sally Pearson (Qld, 100mH), Mitchell Watt (Qld, long jump), Jared Tallent (Vic, 50km walk), Steven Solomon (NSW, 400m), Lisa Weightman (Vic, marathon) and Michael Shelley (Qld, marathon), as well as Jane Fardell (NSW), Lauren Shelley (WA) and Scott Westcott (NSW) as the three automatic selections from the Marathon Trial held in October 2012, and the automatic selections of Luke Adams (NSW, 50km walk) and Lara Tamsett (NSW, 10,000m) who both won their respective Selection Trials in December 2012.
The Athletics Australia Selectors will meet again shortly after 12 May 2013 to determine final selections for the marathon, the men’s and women’s 20km race walk and the men’s 50km race walk. The Final Selectors Meeting will determine all remaining discretionary selections after the close of the IAAF Qualification Period on 29 July 2013.
The 2013 IAAF World Championships, the 14th instalment of the event, will be held in Moscow (RUS) on 10-18 August 2013.
The Australian Flame at the 2011 IAAF World Championships in Daegu (KOR) was 46-strong and placed 8th on the medal table with one gold (Sally Pearson, 100mH), one silver (Mitchell Watt, long jump) and one bronze (Jared Tallent, 50km race walk).
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