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Athletics - 06. March 2008.

Debutants dominate Beijing athletics nominations

Twenty-five Australian athletes are Beijing bound after they were chosen for nomination to the Australian Olympic Committee for selection into the Australian team for the 2008 Olympic Games.

More than half of the squad (15) will make their Olympic debut.

Selectors used their discretion in naming 11 additional athletes (in bold). They join 14 athletes who had already been pre-nominated or had gained automatic selection as a result of their performances at the 86th Australian Championships in Brisbane last weekend or the 20km and 50km walk trials.

400m: Joel Milburn
(21, NSW), John Steffensen (25, WA), Sean Wroe (23, VIC)
800m: Lachlan Renshaw (21, NSW) pictured
5000m: Craig Mottram (27, VIC)
4 x 400m: Joel Milburn (NSW), John Steffensen (WA), Sean Wroe (VIC), Dylan Grant (19, QLD),
Clinton Hill (27, NSW)
20km walk: Luke Adams (31, NSW), Jared Tallent (23, VIC)
50km walk: Nathan Deakes (30, VIC), Adam Rutter (21, NSW), Jared Tallent (VIC)
Pole vault: Steven Hooker (25, WA)
Shot put: Scott Martin (25, VIC)
Javelin: Jarrod Bannister (23, QLD)

400m: Tamsyn Lewis (29, VIC)
800m: Tamsyn Lewis (VIC), Madeleine Pape (23, VIC)
100m hurdles: Sally McLellan (21, QLD)
400m hurdles: Jana Rawlinson (25, NSW)
3000m steeplechase: Donna MacFarlane (30, TAS)
20km walk: Kellie Wapshott (26, VIC), Claire Woods (26, SA)
Pole vault: Alana Boyd (23, QLD)
Long jump: Bronwyn Thompson (30, QLD)
Discus: Dani Samuels (19, NSW)
Heptathlon: Kylie Wheeler (28, WA)

“The selectors have carefully considered all eligible athletes, and selected those who have either qualified by right or we believe are most likely to perform well at the Olympic Games or show outstanding potential for Delhi 2010 and London 2012 and beyond,” explained Athletics Australia's chairman of selectors Peter Fitzgerald.
“It’s a team in which we have a great deal of faith. They are talented and determined and there are a number of strong medal chances.”
Fifteen of the 25 athletes will be making their Olympic debut - Jarrod Bannister (QLD), Alana Boyd (QLD), Dylan Grant (QLD), Scott Martin (VIC), Donna MacFarlane (TAS), Sally McLellan (QLD), Joel Milburn (NSW), Madeleine Pape (VIC), Lachlan Renshaw (NSW), Adam Rutter (NSW), Dani Samuels (NSW), Jared Tallent (VIC), Kellie Wapshott  (VIC), Claire Woods (SA) and Sean Wroe (VIC).
Currently, Dani Samuels is the youngest athlete at 19 years of age (20 at Games time), while Luke Adams is the oldest at 31.
A select group of experienced international athletes, who missed the domestic season due to injury, will be considered for selection if they show a return to form following their recovery:
Paul Burgess (28, WA) - pole vault
Kym Howe (27, WA) - pole vault
Sarah Jamieson (32, VIC) - 1500m
Jane Saville (33, NSW) - 20km walk
Another group has been given additional time to put their case to the selectors. The following athletes have been advised to seek better performances for further consideration:
Justin Anlezark (30, QLD) - shot put
Collis Birmingham (23, VIC) - 5000m
Lisa Corrigan (23, ACT) - 1500m
Robbie Crowther (20, QLD) - long jump
Jason Dudley (23, QLD) - decathlon
Mark Fountain (25, VIC) - 1500m
Benn Harradine (25, VIC) - discus
Mitch Kealey (24, QLD) - 1500m
Melissa Rollison (24, QLD) - 3000m steeplechase
Brad Woods (21, NSW) - 1500m
The following athletes will be considered for the remaining place in the men’s 4 x 400m relay squad:
Daniel Batman (27, VIC)
Mark Ormrod (25, SA)
Kurt Mulcahy (18, NSW)
Australia’s sprint contenders have been advised that their current performances have not reached the required standards for either an individual or relay position.
“The selectors do not believe any of our current sprinters have shown a high enough standard to be included in the list of athletes we wish to see continue to pursue a further performance for consideration,” continued Fitzgerald.
“However, the men’s 4 x 100m relay will have an opportunity to demonstrate they are committed to getting the relay team into the Olympics when they compete at the Osaka Grand Prix in May. Following that performance, the selectors will consider their ranking and ability to achieve the necessary standard of performance.
“We believe the women’s 4 x 100m and 4 x 400m teams are not of a good enough standard to be considered for the Olympic Games.”
Nominations for the marathon will be made on or before May 19.
A final selectors’ meeting will take place on June 23, at which time all athletes will be assessed against their ongoing obligations set out in the nomination policy. Those obligations include pre-Olympic form and fitness. Following that assessment, the list of final nominations will be sent to the Australian Olympic Committee on July 4.
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