The Rio 2016 bound Scott Westcott headlines the bounty of distance running talent set to take to the start line for the Australian Half Marathon Championships on Sunday 3 July.
To be held as part of the Gold Coast Airport Marathon, Westcott will compete for the New South Wales men’s team alongside London 2012 Olympian Jeff Hunt, with the challenge to them to come from Summer Universiade representative Josh Harris, Zatopek:10 silver medallist Duer Yoa and Australian Cross Country Championships silver medallist Nicholas Wightman.
“The aim will be to firstly demonstrate fitness leading into the Olympic Marathon on August 21 and secondly to challenge for a medal. It’s the first time I have contested the half marathon championships since 2012, when I won the title,” Westcott said.
At age 40, Westcott will make his Olympic debut at Rio 2016 following an impressive international career that began with the IAAF World Half Marathon Championships in 2000. He has since competed at the IAAF World Championships twice, narrowly missed a medal (4th) in the marathon at the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games and won four national titles in road running, cross country and the marathon.
“Training is going really well. A small niggle meant that last week became an easy week with this week being back to business as usual. I’ll be training as I normally would right up to the race and hope to bounce back pretty quickly after it. There are only seven weeks to the Olympic marathon with really only four of those dedicated to the long and hard stuff before freshening up.”
In the women’s event, local favourite Cassandra Fien takes to the start line alongside a field that also includes IAAF World Championships marathon starters Lauren Shelley and Sinead Diver and Commonwealth Games representative Melanie Panayioutou.
The winner of the bronze medal last year and runner-up in 2009 and 2010, Fien set a personal best of 1:11:13 earlier this year when she placed 18th at the IAAF World Half Marathon Championships in Cardiff (GBR).
Starting at the Race Precinct in Southport, the course for the Australian Half Marathon Championships traces the picturesque Broadwater, providing views of Wavebreak, Ephraim and South Stradbroke Islands. The race records are held by Benson Masya (KEN, 1:01:16) and Lisa Weightman (Vic, 1:09:00).
Medals will be awarded to individuals in both the men’s and women’s race, with the top-three finishers from each state or territory combining their performances to determine team medals.
State & Territory Teams for the Australian Half Marathon Championships
|Josh Torley||M||Paul Morgan||M|
|Brad Croker||M||Adam Bishop||M|
|Jonathan Windsor||M||Matthew Fenech||M|
|Mark Bourne||M||Nathan Rout-Pitt||M|
|Craig Benson||M||Timon Kosmas-Sideris||M|
|James Minto||M||Nadene Gillett||F|
|Scott Westcott||M||Kirsty Sideris||F|
|Jeffrey Hunt||M||Lauren Gillis||F|
|Mark de Luca||M||Name||Gender|
|John Bartlett||M||David Thomas||M|
|Stephanie Auston||F||Josh Harris||M|
|Bronwyn Hager||F||Dylan Evans||M|
|Kate Coburn||F||Alex Humphrey||M|
|Emma Ballantyne||F||Daniel Clarke||M|
|Gemma Jenkins||F||Dejen Gebreselassie||M|
|Pippa Featherson||F||Nick Earl||M|
|Sarah Tyrrell||F||Duer Yoa||M|
|Anthony Craig||M||Virginia Moloney||F|
|Shawn Claydon||M||Sinead Diver||F|
|Christopher Waters||M||Cassie Higham||F|
|Brad Beer||M||Bronwyn Humphrys||F|
|Matt Macdonald||M||Tracey Austin||F|
|Cassandra Fien||F||Sophie Ryan||F|
|Christie McKay||F||Lauren Shelley||F|
|Liz Maguire||F||Kate Fitzsimons||F|