The Australian team for the IAAF World Indoor Championships has today been boosted by five, with Alana Boyd, Brooke Stratton, Brett Robinson, Melissa Duncan and Chelsea Jaensch selected to compete.
Set to join the already confirmed Fabrice Lapierre, Michelle Jenneke and Collis Birmingham, the eight-strong contingent will don the green and gold in Portland (USA) on 17-20 March 2016.
“The IAAF World Indoor Championships provide a great opportunity for athletes ahead of the Olympic Games and I congratulate the eight athletes selected to represent Australia later this month,” Dion Russell, Athletics Australia Chairman of Selectors, said.
“I’m confident that the team will represent the green and gold admirably. It’s a strong squad that we should be proud of.”
Boyd soared to a new Australian pole vault record of 4.77m to come into contention for Portland 2016, before continuing her season with consistently impressive marks including 4.45m, 4.70m, 4.71m and 4.65m. She will compete at the world indoor championships for a second time after debuting in Istanbul (TUR) in 2012.
Stratton now boasts a personal best of 6.94m, just six centimetres shy of the longstanding Australian record of Bronwyn Thompson, with her 2016 resume including victories at the ACT Athletics Championships, the Canberra Track Classic and the Victorian Athletics Championships. She will take to the runway at the Perth Track Classic on Saturday 12 Marchbefore travelling to the host city.
Both Robinson and Duncan qualified at the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix in February. Robinson clocked 7:44.29 to place second in the 3000m to ensure his selection, while Duncan ran 4:06.93 in the 1500m to come into contention.
Rounding out the newly selected athletes, Jaensch has benefited from the IAAF Roll Down Process. Soaring a new personal best of 6.70m in the women’s long jump at the Canberra Track Classic to secure her first Olympic Games standard, the performance has also resulted in her addition to the field for Portland 2016.
Competing in exhibition masters events, Marie Kay (NSW) and Deborah Drennan (NSW) have also been extended the opportunity to compete in the women’s 800m for athletes aged over 55. Kay is a versatile athlete who is the current world record holder for the women’s over 55 heptathlon and the women’s over 50 long jump. Drennan is currently ranked eighth in the world for the 800m for women aged over 55.
Athletics Australia have also confirmed the appointment of Nic Bideau and Ray Boyd as team coaches, with Head Coach, Craig Hilliard, to also travel to the championships. Bideau is the coach of Birmingham, Robinson and Duncan, while Boyd guides his daughter in the pole vault.
The IAAF World Indoor Championships will be held in Portland on 17-20 March, 2016. It will be the first time that the event has been held in America since Indianapolis (USA) welcomed the championship in 1987.