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Bird-Smith among initial London 2017 selections

24 February 2017

ATHLETICS: Australia’s charge toward London 2017 stepped up today, with national race walk champions Dane Bird-Smith (Qld) and Regan Lamble (Vic) among four initial selections for the IAAF World Championships in August.

The winner of bronze in the men’s 20km walk on debut at the Olympic Games last year, Bird-Smith clocked an equal personal best of 1:19:37 to earn his priority selection at the Australian Race Walking Championships last weekend.

Lamble, 10th placed in the 20km walk at Rio 2016, took line honours in the women’s race in Adelaide (SA) to ensure her selection, with Rhydian Cowley (Vic) and Beki Smith (NSW) discretionarily selected after achieving the qualifying standard to win silver at the national championship.

“Dane, Regan, Rhydian and Beki represent the first athletes selected for the IAAF World Championships in London in August and it’s exciting to see yet another impressive green and gold team begin to take shape,” Dion Russell, the Athletics Australia Chairman of Selectors, said.

“This announcement launches a busy month of selection opportunities for athletes, with the Summer of Athletics Grand Prix in Canberra in a fortnight providing a vital qualification opportunity before the Australian Athletics Championships double as the Selection Trial. We will announce more athletes at the close of this competition, before the team is finalised in late July.”

To read a review of the Australian 20km Race Walking Championships, including quotes from Bird-Smith, please click here.

To learn more about the qualification process for the IAAF World Championships, click here.

To view and download the Selection Policy for the IAAF World Championships, please click here.

The Summer of Athletics Grand Prix at the AIS Track and Field Centre in Canberra (ACT) will follow a bumper weekend of state championships this weekend in Perth (WA), Sydney (NSW), Melbourne (Vic) and Brisbane (Qld).

These events provide an opportunity for athletes to qualifying for the IAAF World Championships at home, before competition at the Summer of Athletics Grand Prix and the Australian Athletics Championships to close out the Australian domestic season.

The New South Wales Athletics Championships will feature Dani Stevens (NSW, nee Samuels) as she returns to the athletics circle for the first time since she placed 4th at the Olympic Games. Anneliese Rubie (NSW, 400m) and Michelle Jenneke (NSW, 100m hurdles) of Coles Nitro Athletics Melbourne fame join her on entry lists, as do Josh Clarke (NSW, 100m), Nicholas Hough (NSW, 110m hurdles) and Milly Clark (NSW, 1500m).

In Brisbane (Qld), Sally Pearson (Qld) will line-up for the 100m and the 100m hurdles only days after returning from a successful stint at indoor competitions across Europe, while Riley Day (Qld) will return to age-appropriate competition in the girl’s under 18 sprints.

Kurtis Marschall (SA) takes to the pole vault runway in Perth (WA) alongside Liz Parnov (WA) and Nina Kennedy (WA) and at the Victorian Athletics Championships Morgan Mitchell (Vic, 400m), will start.

Athletics Australia

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