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Five big questions to be answered in March

27 February 2017

It has been a bumper start to the year for Australian athletes and whether it’s on the pitch, in the snow, or on the track, the action is not letting up. Here are five burning questions that will be answered in the month of March.

Will the Aussies continue their great run on the Sierra Nevada slopes?

When the Winter World Championships kick off on the 7th of March in Sierra Nevada, Spain, the Australian contingent will enter the event confident of success. The start of 2017 has been nothing short of spectacular for our ski and snowboard athletes, with multiple podium finishes.

Scotty James is the defending champion from 2015 and comes into the halfpipe competition in formidable form. A win at the Pyeongchang World Cup this week secured the 22-year-old overall 2016/17 World Cup series honours. Britt Cox and Matt Graham will be flying the flag in the moguls. Cox is fresh off a history-making win in Japan where she became the first Australian female to win a Moguls World Cup and the current World number one will be hopeful of another strong performance. At the same event, Graham secured a bronze medal and sits third in the world standings. World number one Belle Brockhoff leads a snowboard cross team into the championships in strong form. Most recently, Brockhoff won silver while Alex ‘Chumpy’ Pullin secured gold at the World Cup event in Feldberg, Germany.

When you add into the mix world number two Danielle Scott and the Australian aerials team, and Sami Kennedy-Sim who claimed her first ever World Cup podium in ski cross earlier this year, form suggests that we will be fighting it out for the medals all week in Spain.

You can find out all you need to know about the FIS World Championships here.


Who will reign supreme at the Cycling National Championships?

32 national titles will be on the line when Australia’s top cycling stars battle it out at Brisbane’s new Anna Meares Velodrome for the 2017 Cycling Australia National Championships.

Commencing March 2nd, the event will feature over 150 of the nation’s best cyclists. Rio Olympians Matthew Glaetzer (SA), Sam Welsford (WA), Nathan Hart (ACT), Patrick Constable (SA), Amy Cure (TAS), Georgia Baker (TAS) and Steph Morton (SA) will all be in action, in addition to reigning world champions Alex Porter (SA) and Rebecca Wiasak (ACT) and six-time world champion Cam Meyer (WA).  The athletes will be hungry for success in their first competitive event at the new state-of-the-art Brisbane track, which will play host to cycling at the 2018 Commonwealth Games. Tickets can be purchased here.

Can the Aussie women come out on top at the Algarve Cup?

The Algarve Cup is an invitational women’s tournament held in Portugal, and 2017 marks the 24th edition of the event. It is also the first competitive tournament for Australia since the Rio Olympics.

The team will come up against strong competition in Portugal, with Sweden, the Netherlands and China all certain to provide a stern test. However, the Aussies head into the tournament the second-highest ranked team with only Canada, the 2016 Algarve champions and Olympic Bronze medallists, above them.

The Aussies will be full of confidence as they chase their first silverware in seven years. The action kicks off in Portugal next month.

Can our Rugby Sevens go big in Vegas?

The Australian men’s and women’s rugby 7’s teams will compete at the inaugural Las Vegas World Series rugby event in early March.

Despite some flashes of the type of play which saw them win gold at the Rio Olympics, the Qantas Sevens team finished a disappointing fourth in Sydney this month. The Las Vegas tournament provides an opportunity for the team to make a swift return to form and they will no doubt be hungry to avenge losses they suffered on home soil at the hands of arch rivals Canada and New Zealand.

It is a very different story for the men, who will take confidence from their best result of the season where they finished fourth. Despite being plagued by injuries leading into the tournament, the Aussies performed superbly in Sydney and will aim for even better when they touch down in Las Vegas.

For a full schedule, see the USA Sevens website.


 Who will get the jump at Athletics Nationals?

The best and brightest of Australia’s athletics team will descend on the Sydney Olympic Park Athletic Centre in March for the 2017 Australian Athletics Championships. With more than 3500 track and field athletes of all ages, the event will combine for the first time Junior and Open aged championships for able-bodied and para-athletes.

The event follows the highly successful debut of Nitro Athletics this month and athletes will be hopeful of a strong show of support at the largest annual athletics event in Australia and the Oceania-Pacific region. The event is sure to bring out the very best in competitors, as they battle for bragging rights, personal bests and national championships medals.

It all kicks off on Sunday the 26th of March in Sydney. You can get all the details here.

Nathan Lange

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