Exciting track and field team announced for Rio Olympic Games
3 April 2016
RIO TEAM: New faces and seasoned track and field performers have been selected on to the 2016 Australian Olympic Team today for the Rio Games.
Twenty-eight (28) new athletes have been announced at a Gala Dinner at Sydney Olympic Park, following the conclusion of the four day Australian Championships. Seven athletes across the 10,000m and walks who have already been named were also recognised.
Eloise Wellings who was named in the 10,000m previously adds the 5000m to her race program for Rio 2016. By mid-July the Athletics Section of the Team could be 50 athletes – the largest of any sport wearing the green and gold in Rio.
“As Chef de Mission nothing gives me more pleasure than welcoming athletes on to our 2016 Australian Olympic Team,” 2016 Team Chef de Mission Kitty Chiller said.
“These athletes have done the hard work to realise their dream and I know they will do Australia proud – on and off the track.”
The Trials started with 21-year-old decathlete Cedric Dubler doing a huge personal best to achieve the Olympic qualifier. And on Sunday the Trials were concluded with 21-year-old Ella Nelson (200m), 22-year-old Michelle Jenneke (100m hurdles) and 23-year-old Alexander Hartmann (200m) all achieving the Olympic standard again this summer.
Athletics Australia Head Coach Craig Hilliard is thrilled with the make-up of the Team.
“The athletes named so far are a fantastic mix of youth and experience making us well placed for Rio and for beyond to Tokyo,” Hilliard said.
“There has been a lot of young athletes that have stepped up in the Olympic year such as Damien Birkinhead, Brooke Stratton, Ella Nelson, Alexander Hartmann, Morgan Mitchell, Josh Clarke and of course Cedric Dubler to name a few.
“We also have experienced campaigners like Fabrice Lapierre ready to add an Olympic medal to his world championships achievements and you can’t forget defending Olympic champion Sally Pearson. Sally is worth her weight in gold. She’s been there and knows what it takes to win a silver and then step up to the top of the podium. She will give guidance and advice to the younger athletes that will be invaluable.”
Commonwealth high jump champion Eleanor Patterson is the youngest member and 3000m steeplechaser Victoria Mitchell is the eldest of four 33-year-olds. Of the 28 new additions to the Team selected 17 will make their Olympic debut, seven are at their second Games and four (Alana Boyd, Benn Harradine, Pearson, Dani Samuels) are off to their third.
2009 World Champion Dani Samuels is looking for that discus podium in Rio and can’t keep the smile off her face when she talks about going to another Olympic Games.
“It’s awesome. I get a big smile on my face when it is mentioned,” Samuels said after posting yet another Olympic standard.
“I can’t explain the pride of wearing the tracksuit and representing your country and its great knowing everyone is behind you and supporting you.
“Walking into a stadium like this with your Olympic gear on and having Australia next to your name is really what you train and what you live for.”
All three available spots have been filled in the women’s javelin (Kim Mickle, Kathryn Mitchell, Kelsey-Lee Roberts) and women’s steeplechase (Madeline Hills, Genevieve LaCaze, Victoria Mitchell), while in the men’s long jump (Fabrice Lapierre, Henry Frayne), women’s 100m hurdles (Pearson, Michelle Jenneke) and women’s long jump (Brooke Stratton, Chelsea Jaensch) two positions are currently filled.
It has been 32 years (1984 to 2016), since two women have represented in long jump and as far back as 1972 for two women in the 100m hurdles.
Before Seven Olympic broadcasting legend Bruce McAvaney introduced each athlete, through a guard of honour of retired Olympians, Chiller explained to the more than 440 guests and media that the Athletics Section will continue to grow.
“As we celebrate all these athletes tonight, we must also acknowledge that there will be additional selections between now and the end of the qualifying period. And I must also mention that all tonight’s selections are subject to appeal.”
The marathon athletes should be nominated to the Australian Olympic Committee from Athletics Australia around 25 April, additional 20km walk and 10,000m at the end of May, and final nominations in all other events by mid-July.
Athletics Selections for the 2016 Australian Olympic Team on 3 April 2016
Athlete Age Born Lives Post Code Event
Damien Birkinhead 22 Geelong, Vic Chadstone, VIC 3058 Shot Put
Alana Boyd 31 Melbourne, VIC Sunshine Coast, QLD 4572 Pole Vault
Josh Clarke 20 Sydney, NSW Bella Vista, NSW 2153 100m
Cedric Dubler 21 Brisbane, QLD The Gap, QLD 4061 Decathlon
Melissa Duncan 26 Melbourne, VIC Melbourne 3158 1500m
Henry Frayne 25 Adelaide Brisbane 4170 Long Jump
Alexander Hartmann 23 Brisbane, QLD Boondall, QLD 4034 200m
Benn Harradine 33 Newcastle, NSW Coorparoo, QLD 4151 Discus
Madeline Hills 28 Shellharbour, NSW Mangerton, NSW 2500 3000mSteeplechase
Chelsea Jaensch 31 Elizabeth Vale, SA Brisbane 4172 Long Jump
Michelle Jenneke 22 Sydney Dural, NSW 2158 100m Hurdles
Genevieve LaCaze 26 Benowa, QLD Fairfield, QLD 4103 3000mSteeplechase
Fabrice Lapierre 32 Reduit, MUR Phoenix, USA N/A Long Jump
Luke Mathews 20 Williamstown VIC Newport, VIC 3015 800m
Kimberley Mickle 31 Perth, WA Scarborough, WA 6019 Javelin
Kathryn Mitchell 33 Hamilton, VIC Casterton, VIC 3311 Javelin
Morgan Mitchell 21 Carlton, VIC Werribee, VIC 3030 400m
Victoria Mitchell 33 Melbourne, VIC Coogee, NSW 2034 3000mSteeplechase
Ella Nelson 21 Hurstville, NSW Heathcote, NSW 2233 200m
Eleanor Patterson 19 Leongatha, VIC Leongatha, VIC 3953 High Jump
Sally Pearson 29 Sydney, NSW Gold Coast 4212 100m Hurdles
Kelsey-Lee Roberts 24 South Africa Melba, ACT 2615 Javelin
Brett Robinson 24 Canberra, ACT South Melbourne, VIC 3206 5000m
Anneliese Rubie 23 Canberra, ACT Elanora Heights, NSW 2101 400m
Dani Samuels 27 Sydney, NSW Robina, QLD 4228 Discus
Brandon Starc 22 Sydney, NSW Baulkham Hills, NSW 2153 High Jump
Brooke Stratton 22 Box Hill, VIC Melbourne 3152 Long Jump
Eloise Wellings 33 New York, USA Burraneer, NSW 2230 5000m *
Lauren Wells 27 Canberra, ACT Flynn, ACT 2615 400m Hurdles
- Selections are subject to any appeals
- Selections are subject to ongoing form and fitness
- These selections are in addition to the 10,000m runners (David McNeill and Eloise Wellings) and walkers (Dane Bird-Smith, Chris Erickson, Brendon Reading, Rachel Tallent, Jared Tallent) previously announced.
- Future nominations to the Australian Olympic Committee are anticipated on:- 25 April: Marathon; 30 May: 20km Walk & 10,000m; 12 July: Final Selection Meeting (all other events)
* Already selected in 10,000m previously