The Australian Commonwealth Games Association has today accepted the first round of nominations to the Australian athletics team bound for the 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi, India, as submitted by Athletics Australia.
Following three days of hard-fought track and field action at the Go for 2&5 88th Australian Athletics Championships and Commonwealth Games selection trials in Perth, 41 athletes earned automatic nomination to the team based on their results.
A further 28 athletes were today announced as discretionary nominations to the team, taking the total number of nominated athletes to 69.
Newly-crowned national pole vault champion and athletics team captain Steve Hooker (pole vault) will lead a squad that features a true mix of youth and experience into battle in Delhi, with Liz Parnov (pole vault) the youngest athlete nominated to today’s team at 15 years of age and track veteran Patrick Johnson (4x100m relay) the oldest at 37.
Hooker, whose all-conquering spate of pole vault victories commenced with the Commonwealth Games title in Melbourne in 2006, will join fellow nominees John Steffensen (400m, 4x400m relay) and Scott Martin (shot put, discus throw) in defence of their Commonwealth crowns this October. The Australian men’s and women’s 4x400m relay teams will also defend their titles in Delhi.
Parnov – the daughter of pole vault guru Alex Parnov, coach of Commonwealth, Olympic, world and world indoor champion Hooker – posted a new personal best and Commonwealth Games A-qualifying height of 4.40m this weekend to take out her first senior national pole vault crown and secure her nomination to the team.
Other young guns nominated to don the green and gold include 19-year-olds Ryan Gregson (1500m), Kevin Moore (4x400m relay) and Melissa Breen (100m).
Twenty-eight of the 57 able-bodied athletes nominated to the team will make their Commonwealth Games debut in New Delhi this October.
At the other end of the scale and adding a wealth of experience to the team, Tamsyn Lewis (4x400m relay) has been nominated for her fifth Commonwealth Games squad, while Johnson (4x100m relay), Luke Adams (20km walk) and Petrina Price (high jump) have each been nominated for their third Commonwealth Games campaign.
Australian Commonwealth Games Association Chef de Mission Steve Moneghetti said the 2010 Games would prove the launch pad for the international careers of countless Australian stars.
“From established stars like Steve Hooker and Dani Samuels to rising stars like Liz Parnov and Melissa Breen the athletics team, as with the recently-announced swimming section, typifies what the Commonwealth Games is all about,” Moneghetti said.
“Twenty-eight of the 57 able-bodied members of this team will take part in their first Commonwealth Games and we are sure it will be an experience they never forget.
“Just as in Melbourne four years ago the Australian Commonwealth Games Association is really pleased that athletics has recommended such a large team. As we have seen since Melbourne, a string of international successes have flowed from the opportunities and experiences provided by the Games.”
Six athletes nominated to the team earned automatic entry following their top-eight performances at the IAAF world championships in Berlin in 2009 – Steve Hooker (pole vault), Dani Samuels (discus throw), Mitchell Watt (long jump), Fabrice Lapierre (long jump), Sally McLellan (100m hurdles) and Jared Tallent (20km walk). Marathon runner Lisa Weightman gained automatic nomination via her top-20 finish at the same titles.
A further 34 athletes earned automatic nomination to the team by posting an A-qualifying performance and finishing in either first place at the national championships or second where the gold medallist also had an A-qualifying performance to their name.
A team of up to 90 athletes is expected to be named to the final squad, to be announced following the close of the qualifying period on August 15. With the window for automatic nomination to the team now closed, all future nominations will be made at the selectors’ discretion.
The door remains open for two-time world champion Jana Pittman-Rawlinson to defend her 400m and 4x400m relay titles in New Delhi in October, with places still up for grabs in both of the women’s one-lap events. Three berths on the women’s 4x400m relay team remain available.
Australia collected 16 gold, 12 silver and 13 bronze medals in able-bodied events at the 2006 edition of the Games in Melbourne four years ago.
100m: Aaron Rouge-Serret (22, Vic)
200m: Matt Davies (25, Qld)*
400m: Ben Offereins (24, WA), John Steffensen (27, NSW), Joel Milburn (24, NSW)
800m: Lachlan Renshaw (23, NSW), Ryan Gregson (19, NSW)
1500m: Gregson, Jeff Riseley (23, Vic), Jeremy Roff (26, NSW)
5000m: Ben St Lawrence (28, NSW), Collis Birmingham (25, Vic), David McNeill (23, Vic)
400m hurdles: Brendan Cole (28, ACT), Tristan Thomas (23, ACT)
High jump: Liam Zamel-Paez (21, Qld)
Pole vault: Steve Hooker (27, WA)
Long jump: Fabrice Lapierre (26, NSW), Chris Noffke (22, Qld), Mitchell Watt (22, Qld)
Shot put: Scott Martin (27, Vic), Dale Stevenson (22, Vic)
Discus throw: Benn Harradine (27, Vic), Martin, Julian Wruck (18, Qld)
Hammer throw: Tim Driesen (26, Vic), Simon Wardhaugh (24, Qld)
Javelin throw: Jarrod Bannister (25, Vic)
20km walk: Luke Adams (33, NSW), Chris Erickson (28, Vic), Jared Tallent (25, Vic)
T46 100m: Gabriel Cole (18, SA), Heath Francis (28, ACT), Simon Patmore (22, Qld)
T54 1500m: Richard Colman (25, Vic), Kurt Fearnley (29, NSW), Jake Lappin (17, Vic)
F32/34/52 shot put: Damien Bowen (25, ACT), Hamish MacDonald (35, ACT)
4x100m relay: Davies, Jacob Groth (24, NSW), Patrick Johnson (37, Qld), Isaac Ntiamoah (27, NSW), Rouge-Serret
4x400m relay: Milburn, Kevin Moore (19, NSW), Offereins, Steffensen, Sean Wroe (25, Vic)
100m: Melissa Breen (19, ACT)
5000m: Eloise Wellings (27, NSW)
100m hurdles: Hayley Butler (25, NSW), Sally McLellan (23, Qld)
400m hurdles: Lauren Boden (21, ACT)
Marathon: Lisa Weightman (31, Vic)
High jump: Ellen Pettitt (23, NSW)*, Petrina Price (25, NSW)
Pole vault: Amanda Bisk (24, WA), Alana Boyd (25, WA), Liz Parnov (15, WA)
Shot put: Joanne Mirtschin (29, ACT)
Discus throw: Dani Samuels (21, NSW)
Hammer throw: Karyn di Marco (32, NSW), Bronwyn Eagles (29, NSW), Gabrielle Neighbour (26, Vic)
Javelin throw: Kimberley Mickle (25, WA), Kathryn Mitchell (27, Vic)
20km walk: Claire Tallent (28, SA), Cheryl Webb (33, NSW)
T37 100m: Jodi Elkington (16, Vic)
T54 1500m: Christie Dawes (23, NSW)
F32-34/52/53 shot put: Louise Ellery (33, Vic), Brydee Moore (19, Vic)
4x400m relay: Jody Henry (25, WA), Tamsyn Lewis (31, Vic), Pirrenee Steinert (25, NSW)
- Nomination pending fitness