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Adelaide heats up as host of Chemist Warehouse Athletics Summer Series opener this Saturday

Published Wed 07 Feb 2024

The biggest names in Australian athletics will descend upon Adelaide for the opening meet of the 2024 Summer Series, with Saturday’s Chemist Warehouse Adelaide Invitational lighting the flame for a season of high-stakes competition as all roads lead to Paris 2024.

Freshly crowned Australia’s fastest woman over 100m, 19-year-old Torrie Lewis (Andrew Iselin) will step up to her traditionally preferred 200m as the reigning national champion in both events – with Commonwealth medallist Ella Connolly (Andrew Murphy) and New Zealand rivals Georgia Hulls and Rosie Elliot awaiting the challenge.

Connolly holds a 6-1 record over the teenager in the discipline and is one of three sub-23 second women in the field along with the Kiwi combination of Hulls and Elliot – setting up an enticing showdown with the white-hot Lewis.

“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.

“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.”

Meanwhile, World Under 20 bronze medallist Calab Law (Andrew Iselin) and Adelaide local Aidan Murphy (Dylan Hicks) will be hard to go past in the Men’s 200m.

The sprinting action will also feature Japanese national record holder at 9.95-seconds Ryota Yamagata (JPN) in the Men’s 100m, taking on the in-form Joshua Azzopardi (Rob Marks) and Jacob Despard (Rolf Ohman), while the Women’s 100m is headed by Naa Anang, Bree Masters (Ryan Hoffman) and Ebony Lane (Matt Carter).

Reigning Diamond League champion Matthew Denny (Dale Stevenson) will spearhead the action in the field as he launches his Paris 2024 Olympic Campaign in Adelaide, but the Australian won’t have it all his own way in the Men’s Discus as a host of internationals land for a summer down under, including a heated contest at the Maurie Plant Meet – Melbourne, days later.

The Australian record holder at 68.43m will need to bring his best against the likes of Lawrence Okoye (GBR, 68.24m), Connor Bell (NZL, 66.23m) and Nicholas Percy (GBR, 65.00m), while the Women’s Discus features six nations as Australia’s World Championships representative Taryn Gollshewsky (Leslie Kuorikoski) faces off against the international credentials of Daisy Osakue (ITA) and Jade Lally (GBR).

Fellow Australian record holder Joseph Deng (James Templeton) is bound for a blockbuster 800m showdown in the final event of the evening. Deng made history in 2023 when becoming the first Australian man in history to shatter the 1:44 barrier, clocking 1:43.99 to clinch back the record he first claimed in 2018, now returning to the Chemist Warehouse Summer Series as he eyes a dream Olympic debut in Paris.

With a 50.5-second opening lap requested, the pace will be hot for the field featuring newly minted Australian Under 20 record holder (1:45.77) Peyton Craig (Brendan Mallyon), while fellow 1:45 performers Jye Perrott (Ben Liddy), Jack Lunn (Steve Fabris), James Preston (NZL) and 2023 World Championships representative Riley McGown (Des Proctor) all mount strong cases to draw first blood on the national scene in 2024.

The credentials are easily matched in the Women’s 800m as national record holder Catriona Bisset (Ned Brophy-Williams) toes the line as Australia’s undisputed premier 800m woman, but challenges will come from the star-studded including Abbey Caldwell (Gavin Burren), Bendere Oboya (Craig Mottram) and training partner Linden Hall (Ned Brophy-Williams). Ranked seventh in the world leading into the Olympic year, Bisset plans to bring the heat to Adelaide with the pacemaker locked in for a first lap of 57.5-seconds.

The middle-distance action is only set to roll on over 1500m as eyes turn to the teenage duo Cameron Myers (Dick Telford), who clocked a series of world age bests in 2023,  and Claudia Hollingsworth (Craig Mottram), along with Tokyo Olympian Jye Edwards (Dick Telford) and reigning national champion Callum Davies (Collis Birmingham).  Previously announced in the field, Peter Bol (Justin Rinaldi) has withdrawn from the competition citing a minor hamstring concern.

Australia’s triple jumpers are ready to get the party started in Adelaide after a resurgent 2023 campaign, with Pacific Games champion Connor Murphy (Andrew Murphy), rising star Aiden Hinson (Chloe Stevens) and Julian Konle (Andrew Murphy) set to welcome Andre Anura (MAS) down under. With just 11cm separating the Australian trio’s career-bests led by Hinson’s 16.72m, Adelaide will set the scene for the first bout of the Chemist Warehouse Summer Season.

The action is not limited to Australia’s Olympic and World Under 20 Championships hopefuls, with a quartet of 2023 World Para Athletics Championships stars set to do battle in the 1500m B race – as the Paralympic Games draw closer for Michael Roeger (Philo Saunders), Reece Langdon (Tim O'Shaughnessy), Angus Hincksman (Simon Moran) and Deon Kenzie (Philo Saunders).

The 2024 Chemist Warehouse Adelaide Invitational is a World Athletics Continental Tour Bronze meet, and will take place at the SA Athletics Stadium, beginning at 6:30pm ACDT on Saturday February 10 with tickets available HERE.  Australian viewers can tune in via Seven’s digital platform 7plus. 

Full entry lists and the timetable for the 2024 Chemist Warehouse Adelaide Invitational can be found via ROSTER (or the ROSTER app).

The Adelaide Invitational will be bolstered by the 2024 Chemist Warehouse Australian (and Oceania) 20km Race Walking Championships on Sunday February 11, with entry lists to be found HERE and a preview to follow.

By Lachlan Moorhouse, Athletics Australia
Posted: 7/2/2024