A team of 26 athletes will represent Australia at the IAAF World Junior Championships in Bydgoszcz, Poland in July this year.
The prestigious under-20 championships have been the birthplace of many champions including 2007 World Champion Jana Rawlinson who took the 400m hurdles title in 2000. For many, the championships will be a major step on the road to senior representation at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi and 2012 Olympic Games in London.
World championships representatives Kurt Mulcahy and Vicky Parnov who both competed in last edition of the event in Beijing will once again join their junior teammates Emmanule Fuamatu, Andrew Welch and Angeline Blackburn giving the team a good base of experience at an international level.
2007 World Youth Championships representatives James Kaan, Ryan Gregson, Daniel Martin, Kim Mulhall and Lomana Fagatui who will this time contest both the discus and shot put, Chloe Tighe, Melissa Hayes, Rachael Birtles, and speedster Olivia Tauro will add experience and talent to the line up.
World Youth medallists Josh Hall (high jump, bronze), Adam Bevis (decathlon, bronze), Hamish Peacock (javelin, silver) and Parnov who took the pole vault title in Ostrava, will again represent their country with hopes of gracing the dais.
National youth high performance manager Sara Mulkearns is happy with her squad.
“They have so much promise and have all showed the ability to perform at major meets when the pressure is on.”
“We are really excited to be able to give them this opportunity to step up the competition at under-20 level is strong, it’s a great time for developing athletes. It’s just such a good experience to go and see where the world is up to and how they measure up, I’m sure all of the skills these athletes have learned through our programs and competing during the domestic season will put them in a good place to do their very best.”
“There are some new faces as well,” continued Mulkearns, “which is always a great sign.”
“Trychelle Kingdom, Craig Huffer, Sianne Toemoe have really developed in the 800m, Huffer will also contest the 1500m alongside Ryan Gregson who recently competed at the World Cross Country Championships in Edinburgh. We will also bring in Andrew Falchi in the triple jump, Melissa Breen in the 100m, Bridey Delaney in the 1500m, Larissa Perry in the long jump, Andrew Peska in the discus and rising star Jessica Rothwell in the walk,” Mulkearns said.
Rothwell is one of the most exciting talents and will have plenty on her plate with the World Walk Cup in Russia in May as a lead in to her first world juniors. The Victorian walker took almost two minutes off the Australian under-20 record at the Under 20 and 23
championships on the Gold Coast in March.
The World Junior team leave for Bydgoszcz on July 2 after a pre-departure camp and competition on the Gold Coast.
The IAAF World Junior Championships will be held in Bydgoszcz, Poland from July 8 – 13. Regular updates and images will be available on athletics.com.au
Australian World Junior Championships Team
Bydgoszcz, Poland 8-13 July 2008
100m – Melissa Breen ACT
200m – Olivia Tauro NSW
400m – Angeline Blackburn ACT
800m – Trychelle Kingdom NSW, Sianne Toemoe NSW
1500m – Bridey Delaney NSW, Chloe Tighe NSW
3000m – Tighe NSW
10km walk – Jessica Rothwell VIC, Melissa Hayes NSW
Pole vault – Vicky Parnov WA, Rachel Birtles WA
Long jump – Larissa Perry WA
Shot put – Kimberly Mulhall VIC, Lomana Fagatui NSW
Discus – Mulhall VIC, Fagatui NSW
photos Janos Schmidt