Athletics Australia Selectors have confirmed that the Chinese capital of Beijing (CHN) will welcome an Australian Flame team of at least 42 athletes for the IAAF World Championships.
Likely to grow in the coming days as event organisers extend invitations to additional athletes via the newly introduced IAAF roll-down process, the star-studded team already boasts reigning world medallists Kim Mickle (WA, javelin) and Jared Tallent (Vic, race walk) and Commonwealth champions Eleanor Patterson (Vic, high jump), Alana Boyd (Qld, pole vault) and Dani Samuels (NSW, discus throw), as well as six athletes competing at an open age major international championship for the first time.
The Australian Flame team is further bolstered by three athletes competing in exhibition masters events, to bring the overall green and gold squad to 45.
“The IAAF qualification period for selection closed earlier today and Athletics Australia Selectors have confirmed an Australian Flame team of at least 42 athletes, competing alongside three masters runners, who will start in exhibition events,” Dion Russell, Athletics Australia Chairman of Selectors, said.
“Excitingly the team is likely to grow in the coming days as the IAAF extend invitations via their new roll down process. This will see the team edge toward the 46 athletes who competed in Moscow two years ago, which was the equal second largest ever team we have sent to an IAAF World Championships.”
Russell confirmed that, in accordance with the selection philosophy for the IAAF World Championships, all athletes with a qualifier have been selected.
“It’s exciting that we have selected the largest possible team from the athletes that were eligible and available for selection. This adheres to our selection philosophy of selecting the strongest possible Australian Flame team as we continue our preparations for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games in less than 12 months’ time. The experience earned by our debutants will prove invaluable,” Russell added.
Competing at an open age major international championship for the first time are Joel Baden (Vic, high jump), Brooke Stratton (Vic, long jump), Julia Degan (NSW, marathon), Sinead Diver (Vic, marathon), Rachel Tallent (Vic, race walk) and Nina Kennedy (WA, pole vault).
Rachel and Jared Tallent are siblings and will both start in the race walk, while all of Boyd, Dane Bird-Smith (Qld, race walk) and Chris Erickson (Vic, race walk) will follow in their parents footsteps and start at the IAAF World Championships.
The youngest member of the team is Kennedy at 18-years-old. Excluding the masters athletes, Kelly Ruddick (Vic, race walk) is the oldest, while Victoria Mitchell (NSW) has impressively earned selection in the 3000m steeplechase seven years after she last competed for Australia at the IAAF World Championships.
At the 2013 IAAF World Championships in Moscow (RUS), Australia won three medals – two silver, one bronze – and scored 27 points to place 16th of 203 competing nations. Additional top-eight performances were achieved by Zoe Buckman (Vic, 1500m), Kathryn Mitchell (Vic, javelin) and the men’s 4x400m relay team.
IAAF World Championships
22-30 August 2015
800m: Jeff Riseley (Vic), Joshua Ralph (NSW)
5000m: Collis Birmingham (Vic), Brett Robinson (Vic)
110m hurdles: Nicholas Hough (NSW)
Long jump: Fabrice Lapierre (NSW)
High jump: Joel Baden (Vic), Brandon Starc (NSW)
Discus throw: Benn Harradine (Qld), Julian Wruck (Qld)
Javelin: Hamish Peacock (Tas)
20km walk: Chris Erickson (Vic), Dane Bird-Smith (Qld), Jared Tallent (Vic)
50km walk: Chris Erickson (Vic), Jared Tallent (Vic)
Masters 800m: Allan Cook (Vic)
100m: Melissa Breen (ACT)
200m: Ella Nelson (NSW)
1500m: Melissa Duncan (Vic)
5000m: Emily Brichacek (ACT), Madeline Heiner (NSW), Eloise Wellings (NSW)
100m hurdles: Michelle Jenneke (NSW)
400m hurdles: Lauren Wells (ACT)
3000m steeplechase: Madeline Heiner (NSW), Genevieve LaCaze (Qld), Victoria Mitchell (NSW)
High jump: Eleanor Patterson (Vic)
Pole vault: Alana Boyd (Qld), Nina Kennedy (WA)
Long jump: Brooke Stratton (Vic)
Discus throw: Dani Samuels (NSW)
Javelin: Kim Mickle (WA), Kathryn Mitchell (Vic), Kelsey-Lee Roberts (ACT)
Marathon: Julia Degan (NSW), Sinead Diver (Vic), Sarah Klein (Vic)
20km walk: Kelly Ruddick (Vic) Beki Smith (NSW), Rachel Tallent (Vic)
4x400m relay: Jess Gulli (Vic), Morgan Mitchell (Vic), Lyndsay Pekin (WA), Anneliese Rubie (NSW), Lauren Wells (ACT)
Masters 400m: Julie Forster (NSW), Gianna Mogentale (NSW)
– Alex Rowe (Vic, 800m), Melanie Panayioutou (Qld, marathon), Tanya Holliday (SA, race walk), Ben St Lawrence (NSW, 10,000m) and Zoe Buckman (Vic, 1500m) have withdrawn from the Australian Flame team for Beijing 2015 due to injury.
– Athletes invited to compete via the IAAF Roll-Down process will be announced as official selections upon receipt and confirmation of the invitation from the IAAF.