Australia will send a team of athletes to the world titles which commence on August 25; headlined by 2003 world 400m hurdles champion Jana Rawlinson.
At just 16 years and 305 days-old, Vicky Parnov, the niece of Olympic silver medallist Tatiana Grigorieva, will be the youngest-ever Australian athlete to compete at the World Championships.
Parnov will replace fellow team-member Sally McLellan as the youngest ever Australian athlete to participate in a World Championships. McLellan, who will run the 100m, 100m hurdles and 4x100m relay in Osaka, was 16 years 339 days on the day of the opening ceremony in Paris.
Parnov has just returned home after completing an excellent European season. In June, the West Australian broke her own national under 18 and under 20 record in Saulheim, Germany, clearing 4.40 metres – a new world youth best, before going on to strike gold at the IAAF World Youth Championships in Ostrava two weeks later.
“Vicky has produced a number of B-qualifiers and is clearly one of Australia’s best developing young athletes,” explained Peter Fitzgerald, Athletics Australia Chairman of Selectors.
“Her two best performances have come in Europe this year – one of them to win the IAAF World Youth Championships.”
Under the tutelage of her father and renowned pole vault coach Alex Parnov, the Moscow-born high flier has already achieved so much at such a tender young age.
Her vast international competition experience includes the 2005 World Youth Championships in Marrakesh (fourth), 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne (sixth) and the 2006 World Junior Championships in Beijing (bronze).
Her aunty and fellow pole vaulter, Tatiana Grigorieva, competed at three editions of the world championships – her best result a bronze medal at the 1999 world titles. Parnov’s grandmother, Natalya Pechonkina, was the 1968 Olympic 400m bronze medallist.
Parnov will join training partner and fellow West Australian Kym Howe, and Queenslander Alana Boyd, in the qualifying rounds of the women’s pole vault, which are scheduled for the night of August 26.
Further additions to the World Championships team are possible up until August 12.
SBS will broadcast all of the finals action live from Osaka in Australian prime time.
Stay tuned to athletics.com.au for all of the latest Team Australia news.
TELSTRA AUSTRALIAN ATHLETICS SQUAD
11TH IAAF WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS
AUGUST 25 – SEPTEMBER 2, 2007
100m Sally McLellan (QLD)
1500m Lisa Corrigan (ACT), Sarah Jamieson (VIC)
5000m Eloise Wellings (NSW)
10000m Benita Johnson (VIC)
100mH Sally McLellan (QLD)
400mH Jana Rawlinson (NSW)
3000m steeplechase Donna MacFarlane (TAS), Victoria Mitchell (VIC)
Pole vault Alana Boyd (QLD), Kym Howe (WA), Vicky Parnov (WA)
Long jump Bronwyn Thompson (QLD)
Discus Dani Samuels (NSW)
Heptathlon Kylie Wheeler (WA)
20km walk Jane Saville (NSW)
4x100m relay squad Sally McLellan (QLD), Crystal Attenborough (NT), Fiona Cullen (QLD), Preya Carey (NSW), Melissa Kay (TAS)
* Final team (maximum of six athletes per relay) to be confirmed prior to close of IAAF entries on August 12.
photos Janos Schmidt