Largest Aussie Team Ever: 123 Picked For CWG

7 February 2006 | 11.12am

Tuesday 7 February 2006


The largest ever Australian athletics team will take on the best athletes in the Commonwealth at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in March following the announcement of a 123 strong team today.

Headlined by Craig Mottram and Jana Pittman, the team contains 107 athletes, 21 more than the largest previous team of 86 that represented Australia in Auckland in 1990 and is larger than the 84-member team who competed at the Sydney Olympic Games in 2000. The team also includes 16 elite athletes with a disability who are fully integrated into the team. All Australian States and Territories are represented.

The team contains four members who are competing in their fourth Games and seven who line up for a third and 42 (including EAD athletes) who are returning from Manchester.

Importantly for athletics, which is at the beginning of a rebuilding program, the team comprises 10 teenagers, who will become the core group of athletes to take the sport forward to Beijing and beyond.

Names such as Sean Wroe (400m), long jumper’s Fabrice Lapierre and John Thornell, javelin thrower Oliver Dzuibak, sprinter/hurdler Sally McLellan and thrower Dani Samuels have all excelled at junior level and now have the opportunity to make their mark as seniors.

15 year-old pole vaulter Vicky Parnov is the youngest in the team, and will become the second youngest to compete in athletics at the Commonwealth Games.

Ambrose Ezenwa (100/200/4x100m) and Sonia O’Sullivan (5000m) will make their debuts for Australia.

Jana Pittman (400m hurdles), Kerryn McCann (marathon), Jane Saville (20km walk), Nathan Deakes (20km & 50km walk), Justin Anlezark (shot put), Tatiana Grigorieva (pole vault) Jane Jamieson (heptathlon) and three of the four 4x400m relay runners, return to defend the titles they won in Manchester.

The team is a family affair, with three sets of siblings - sisters Jane and Natalie Saville (20km walk) and Benita Johnson (10,000m) and sister Caitlin Willis (4x400m), brother and sister combination Gabrielle (hammer throw) and Aaron Neighbour (discus), Tatiana Grigorieva and her 15-year-old niece Vicky Parnov who will both line up in the pole vault, along with two athletes whose parents both competed for Australia at the Commonwealth Games – Tamsyn Lewis (mum Carolyn – 1962 and dad Greg - 1970, 1974); and Steve Hooker (mum Erica 1974, 1978 and dad Bill – 1974).

Athletics is one of the three sports from the first Empire Games that has remained on the programme ever since, joining boxing and swimming to share that honour. And like swimming the list of events has changed dramatically since those early days in 1930.

There are now 47 events on the athletics schedule compared with just 21 – all for men – back at those first Games. With the introduction of the women’s 3000m steeplechase for the Melbourne Games, there is now virtual equality between men and women with 24 events for men and 23 for women – the only variation being that only the men compete in the 50km road walk event.

The Melbourne 2006 programme contains six events for elite athletes with a disability – the 100m T12 (vision impaired) event for men and the 800 metres T54 (wheelchair) event for women, seated shot (women), seated discus (men), 100m (T37-cerebral palsy women), 200m (T46 – amputee men).

Since 1930, Australia has won 386 medals in track and field at the Commonwealth Games, including 148 gold. Australia won nine gold, nine silver and 10 bronze medals in Manchester for a total of 28 medals – one behind arch rival England.

In announcing the team at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, the venue for the Games, Australian Commonwealth Games Association CEO Perry Crosswhite said despite tougher selection standards than four years earlier in Manchester, the track and field team had produced spectacular performances in the lead-up to the Games.

"The quality of performances over the past few weeks demonstrates exactly what it means to be a member of a home team at a home Games. The size of the team is a welcome surprise, however every member has earned their place and we expect them to produce results in front of a massive crowd.

“Of course the opposition is more diverse in athletics than in any other sport with the Caribbeans in the sprints and jumps, Africans in the middle distance and the tradition rivals in England and South Africa all looking to send very strong teams, our goal is to be the strongest athletics nation after England just edged us in Manchester,” Mr. Crosswhite said.

The majority of the Australian team will assemble in Melbourne next Thursday for the ‘Home Ground Advantage’ team camp and compete at the Melbourne Cricket Ground for the first time in either the Victorian Championships (17-19 Feb) or the Athletics Australia Invitational (Saturday 18 Feb) before traveling to Brisbane for the Telstra A-series meeting (Fri 3 Mar). The final competition before the Games will be at Melbourne’s Olympic Park, with the opening leg of the IAAF World Tour set to be one of the biggest meets in Melbourne for many years, with the majority of the stars of the Commonwealth Games expected to compete.

End of release

For further enquires regarding the announcement please contact:

Perry Crosswhite – (03) 9654 4755
ACGA Chief Executive Officer

David Culbert - 0417 272 641
ACGA Media and PR

Commonwealth Games
Melbourne AUS, March 2006

Australian Athletics Team

100m Ambrose Ezenwa (29, NSW); Patrick Johnson (33, ACT); Joshua Ross (25, NSW)

100m T12 Jonathan Bernard (19, QLD); Paul Harpur (26, QLD) [Harpur’s Guide: Mark Whitman (33, QLD)]
200m Daniel Batman (25, NSW); Johnson; Ezenwa
200m T46 Michael Armstrong (17, ACT); Heath Francis (24, ACT); Tim Matthews (31, VIC)
400m Clinton Hill (25, NSW); John Steffensen, 23, WA; Sean Wroe (20, VIC)
800m Nick Bromley (22, NSW)
1500m Mark Fountain (24, VIC); Craig Mottram (25, VIC); Jeremy Roff (22, NSW)
5000m Mottram, Louis Rowan (28, VIC)
10,000m nil
Marathon Andrew Letherby (32, VIC); Shane Nankervis (31, VIC); Scott Westcott (30, NSW)
110m Hurdles Kyle Vander-Kuyp (34, VIC); Greg Eyears (24, NSW)
400m Hurdles Brendan Cole (24, ACT); Tristan Thomas (19, TAS); Elliot Wood (22, NSW)
3000m Steeplechase Youcef Abdi (28, NSW); Martin Dent (27, ACT); Peter Nowill (26, VC)
20km Walk Luke Adams (29, NSW); Nathan Deakes (28, VIC); Jared Tallent (21, VIC)
50km Walk Duane Cousins (32, VIC); Deakes; Chris Erickson (24, VIC)
4x100m Relay Batman; Ezenwa; Johnson; Adam Miller (21, NSW); Ross; Matt Shirvington (27, NSW);
4x400m Relay Batman; Hill; Mark Ormrod (23, SA); Steffensen; Chris Troode (23, WA); Wroe
High Jump Kane Brigg (18, QLD); Nick Moroney (33, NSW)
Pole Vault Paul Burgess (26, WA); Steve Hooker (23, VIC); Dmitri Markov (31, SA)
Long Jump Fabrice Lapierre (22, NSW); Tim Parravcini (24, QLD); John Thornell (20, NSW)
Triple Jump Alwyn Jones (21, SA); Andrew Murphy (36, NSW); Michael Perry (28, NSW)
Shot Justin Anlezark (28, QLD); Clay Cross (28, NSW); Scott Martin (23, VIC)
Discus Martin; Benn Harradine (23, VIC); Aaron Neighbour (28, VIC)
Discus Seated F55/56 Terry Giddy (55, NSW); Richard Nicholson (35, ACT); Bryan Stitfall (21, WA)
Hammer Stuart Rendell (33, ACT)
Javelin Jarrod Bannister (21, QLD); Oliver Dziubak (23, WA); William Hamlyn-Harris (28, NSW)
Decathlon Richard Allan (26, QLD); Jason Dudley (21, QLD); Matt McEwen (34, QLD)

100m Sally McLellan (19, QLD)
100m T38 Lisa McIntosh (23, VIC); Katherine Proudfoot (28, NSW); Katrina Webb (28, SA)
200m Melanie Kleeberg (24, QLD); Crystal Attenborough (22, NT); Lauren Hewitt (27, VIC)
400m Rosemary Hayward (25, NSW); Jaimee-Lee Hoebergen (17, NSW); Tamsyn Lewis (27, VIC);
800m Libby Allen (VIC, 25); Erica Sigmont (VIC, 23); Suzy Walsham (NSW, 32)
800m T54 Angie Ballard (23, NSW); Christie Dawes (25, NSW); Eliza Stankovic (24, VIC)
1500m Lisa Corrigan (21, NSW), Sarah Jamieson (30, VIC); Walsham
5000m Jamieson; Sonia O’Sullivan (36, VIC), Eloise Wellings (23, NSW)
10,000m Benita Johnson (26, VIC); Anna Thompson (29, VIC)
Marathon Kerryn McCann (38, NSW); Lauren Shelley (29, WA); Kate Smyth (33, VIC)
100m Hurdles Fiona Cullen (26, QLD); McLellan
400m Hurdles Lauren Boden (17, ACT); Sonia Brito (26, VIC); Jana Pittman (23, VIC)
3000m Steeplechase Donna MacFarlane (28, TAS); Victoria Mitchell (23, VIC); Melissa Rollison (22, QLD)
20km Walk Jane Saville (31, NSW); Natalie Saville (27, NSW); Cheryl Webb (29, NSW)
4x100m Relay Attenborough; Preya Carey (22, NSW); Cullen; Hewitt; Kleeberg; McLellan; Tania Van-Heer (35, SA)
4x400m Relay Brito; Hayward; Hoebergen; Lewis; Pittman; Caitlin Willis (23, QLD)
High Jump Claire Mallett (21, NSW); Ellen Pettitt (19, WA); Petrina Price (21, NSW)
Pole Vault Tatiana Grigorieva (30, QLD); Kym Howe (25, WA); Vicky Parnov (15, WA)
Long Jump Lisa Morrison (24, VIC); Kerrie Taurima (26, ACT); Bronwyn Thompson (28, QLD)
Triple Jump Jeanette Bowles (27, VIC)
Shot Dani Samuels (17, NSW)
Shot Seated F54-58 Asti Poole (25, QLD)
Discus Monique Nacsa (29, QLD); Samuels
Javelin Rosie Hooper (27, VIC); Kimberley Mickle (21, WA); Kathryn Mitchell (23, VIC)
Hammer Brooke Billett-Kruger (25, SA); Karyne Di Marco (28, NSW); Gabrielle Neighbour (22, VIC)
Heptathlon Jane Jamieson (30, NSW); Kylie Wheeler (26, WA)

Management: Athletics Section Head Max Binnington (V); Manager Geoff Rowe (V); Assistant Managers Scott Goodman (A), Kerry Johnson (Q); Administration Officer David Tarbotton (V); Coaching Coordinator Tudor Bidder (A); Sprints/Relays Coordinator Cliff Mallett (Q); Hurdles Coordinator (& relay coach) Penny Gillies (N); Distance (in stadium) Coordinator Shaun Creighton (V); Endurance (out of stadium) Coordinator Susan Hobson (A); Jumps Coordinator Craig Hilliard (A); Throws Coordinator Gus Puopolo (V); Javelin/Combined Events Coordinator Grant Ward (W); EAD Seated Throws Coach Alison O’Riordan (A); EAD Sprints Coach Brett Jones (Q); Sprints/Relay Coach Paul Hallam (N); Medical Coordinator/Doctor; Tim Barbour (V); Physio Coordinator Brent Kirkbride (N)