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Oceania Athletics Tokyo2020 Event Previews

Oceania Athletics Tokyo2020 Event Previews

Sprints/Hurdles/Relays:

  • 100m Men: Rohan Browning, Nathan Crumpton, Scott Fiti, Ronold Fotofili, Jonah Harris, Adrian Ililau, Karalo Maibuca, Latiasi Mwea, Banuve Tabakaucoro
  • 100m Women: Hana Basic, Maitie Stanley, Regine Tugade
  • 200m Women: Riley Day
  • 400m Men: Alex Beck, Steve Solomon 
  • 400m Women: Bendere Oboya
  • 110m Hurdles: Nick Hough
  • 100m Hurdles: Liz Clay
  • 400m Hurdles Women: Sarah Carli 
  • 4x400m Women: Australia (Ellie Beer, Angie Blackburn, Kendra Hubbard, Bendere Oboya, Anneliese Rubie-Renshaw,)

10 Oceania Federations will be represented in the sprints and hurdles. With the main universality event of the Olympic Games, being the 100m for Men and Women seeing athletes from those 10 Federations. Tuvalu will join Australia in having representatives in both the Men’s and Women’s 100m. Matie Stanley, who will go in the Women’s 100m, will be the youngest representative from Oceania, at just 18 years of age.

In the longer sprints, Steve Solomon, who made the Olympic Final in 2012, will be captaining the Australian Athletics Team. Bendere Oboya and Alex Beck will be making their Olympic Debuts in the one lap event, and Oboya, will be anchoring the Australian Women’s 4x400m Relay.

Liz Clay, has been a break out star over the 2020 and 2021 domestics seasons. Being coached by Sharon Hannan, Sally Pearson’s former mentor, will lead her in good stead for her first Olympics. In the Men’s high Hurdles, Nick Hough, who Youth Olympic Gold at the first edition in 2010 in Signapore, will line up in his second Olympic games. Sarah Carli, who only a week after qualifying suffered an injury in the gym, which almost caused her to miss the games, has recovered in time, and will be the sole competitor in the 400m hurdles.

Distance:

  • 800m Women: Catriona Bisset, Morgan Mitchell, 
  • 800m Men: Peter Bol, Charlie Hunter, Jeff Riseley, Alex Beddoes
  • 1500m Women: Georgia Griffith , Linden Hall, Jess Hull, 
  • 1500m Men: Jye Edwards, Oli Hoare, Stewart McSewyn, Sam Tanner, Nick Willis
  • 5000m Women: Izzi Batt-Doyle, Jenny Blundell, Camille Buscomb, Rose Davies,
  • 5000m Men: Morgan McDonald, David McNeil, Pat Tiernan
  • 10,000 Women: Camille Buscomb
  • 10,000m Men: Pat Tiernan
  • 3000m Steeplechase Women: Amy Cashin, Gen Gregson, Georgia Winkcup
  • 3000m Steeplechase Men: Ben Buckingham, Matt Clarke, Ed Trippas

The Men’s 1500m, is arguably Oceania’s strongest event in Tokyo. With two-time Olympic Medalist and NZ Record Holder Nick Willis competing at his 4th Olympic Games. He will be joined by Stewart McSweyn, who now holds the Area Record at 1500, Mile and 3000m, Oli Hoare, Jye Edwards and Sam Tanner. McSweyn and Hoare have both won on the Diamond League this season.

The Women’s 1500m, will see Linden Hall, the first Oceania Women to run under 4 mins for 1500m, head to her second Olympic Games. She will be joined by Jess Hull, who has been predominately based in the US for the last few years, and ran a PB in the semifinal of the World Championships in 2019, to show she can produce her best when it counts. Compatriot Georgia Griffith, will join the two of them on the start line of the 1500m, after competing in both the 800 and 1500 in Rio.

The 800m races at the Olympic Games, are always very even affairs. All 5 of the entrants in Tokyo are capable of progressing through the rounds. Area Record Holder Catriona Bissett has been running well in Europe in 2021, and will go in to Tokyo in career best form. Morgan Mitchell, who ran the 400m in Rio, will look to capitalise on her speed to make it through the rounds. Peter Bol, showed what he was capable of at the Oceania Invite Meetings on the Gold Coast, running 1.44 twice. Jeff Riseley will be heading to his 4th Olympic Games, after running his best time since 2012, and they will be joined by Charlie Hunter, who has come through the tough NCAA system. Alex Beddoes of Cook Islands has shown tremendous form leading into 2021, consistently improving and on track to breaking his own National Record of 1:47.85.

Oceania will have Pat Tiernan and Camille Buscomb run both the 5000m and 10,000m in Rio. Both have left their home countries to chase their dreams, with Tiernan being based in the USA, whilst Buscomb has been based in Australia and Europe for the majority of this year. They both have company from this part of the world in the 5000m. David McNeil and Morgan McDonald will run the Men’s 5000m, whilst Rose Davies, Jenny Blundell and Izzi Batt-Doyle will run in the women’s.

The Men’s and Women’s Steeplechase will feature 6 Australians. Gen Gregson, will compete in her third Olympics, and will be looking to improve on her 9th place in Rio. Amy Cashin and Georgia Winkcup will join her in Tokyo in the Women’s race, whilst Ben Buckingham, Matt Clarke and Ed Trippas will run in the Men’s.

Throws

  • Shot Put Women: Valerie Adams, Maddison-Lee Wesche
  • Shot Put Men: Jacko Gill, Tom Walsh
  • Javelin Women: Kelsey Lee Barber, Kathryn Mitchell
  • Discus Women: Dani Stevens
  • Discus Men: Matt Deny, Alex Rose
  • Hammer Throw Women: Lauren Bruce, Julia Ratcliffe

Oceania has a distinguished history in throws, especially in the recent history. The recent history is dominated by Dame Valerie Adams. Tokyo will be her 5th Games, and she has 3 medals, including twice being atop the podium. She has recently joined Dale Stevenson’s throws squad in Christchurch. Stevenson, who went to the 2012 Olympic Games in Shot Put, now coaches Adams, 2017 World Champion Tom Walsh, and Area Hammer Throw Record Holder Lauren Bruce.

Bruce, and her compatriot Julia Ratcliffe, have been trading the Area Hammer Throw record over the last two years, and both will be looking to make the final.

Alex Rose, from Samoa, will carry the flag in the opening ceremony for his country. Rose, the only island athlete to qualify by right, with a National Record of 67.48m in May, shows he is in good form heading into his second Olympics. He will be joined in the Men’s Discus by Australian Matt Denny, who threw a PB of 66.15 at the second Oceania Invite Meeting on the Gold Coast. Dani Stevens, the 2009 World Champion in the Discus, will head to her 4th Olympic Games, and hope to be in her 4th Olympic Final.

Tom Walsh will be joined by fellow New Zealander Jacko Gill. Gill has had some recent health troubles, but has turned those around, and had his most successful domestic season in a long time and finalized his preparation for Tokyo with a PB of 21.55 on July 10th.

Australia will have two representatives in the Women’s Javelin. Kelsey Lee Barber was our region’s only World Champion in 2019 and will look toward the top step in Tokyo. She will be joined by Area Record Kathryn Mitchell, who has been in the last two Olympic Finals, including a 6th place in Rio.

Jumps and Combined Events:

  • Men Long Jump: Henry Frayne
  • Women Long Jump: Brooke Stratton, Rellie Kaputin
  • Men High Jump: Hamish Kerr, Brandon Starc
  • Women High Jump: Nicola McDermott, Elanor Patterson
  • Men Pole Vault: Kurtis Marschall 
  • Women Pole Vault: Nina Kennedy, Liz Parnov
  • Decathlon: Cedric Dubler, Ash Moloney

Nicola McDermott has gone in leaps and bounds, over the past 18 months. She is one of the athletes, who has navigated Covid very well. In 2020, she headed to Europe, and had a successful European Campaign, finishing no worse than 3rd, and included 3 wins. She carried that moment into the Oceania domestic season and capped off by becoming the first Oceania Woman to jump 2m. She has since gone on to jump 2.01, to finish 2nd in the Stockholm Diamond League. Elanor Patterson, who cleared 1.99m, to set the Area Record in early 2020, will be looking to clear those same lofty heights in the Olympic Final in Tokyo.

Brandon Starc and Hamish Kerr will both jump in the Men’s High Jump. They finished first and second at the Oceania Championships in 2019, but a lot has happened since then. Starc, finished 6th in Doha, where Kerr, missed the final. Both are very capable of going well over 2.30m, and if they do, they will be in the mix in the final in Tokyo. Henry Frayne, will compete in his 3rd Olympic Games, following on from making the final in both London and Rio. Brooke Stratton (Aus) made the final in Rio, and has a PB over 7m, which shows what she can do. Rellie Kaputin from Papua New Guinea has recently shown glimpses of her 2019 Peak form when she caused an upset to become Area Champion. Kaputin claimed the victory with a best jump of 6.50m, breaking the PNG national record in the process. Rellie is looking to jump even further at her olympic debut. 

There will be three pole vaulters, taking to the skies of Tokyo, all under the tutelage of Olympian and 6m Jumper Paul Burgess. Nina Kennedy, Liz Parnov and Kurtis Marschall, have stayed in Australia, to finalise their preparations. Kennedy broke the Australian Record in March, whilst Parnov will head to her second Olympics, in good form after jumping 4.55m in Cairns. Marshall, the Commonwealth Champion of 2018, is capable of jumping very high, and is PB shape with a big clearance of 5.80m in Cairns.

Oceania will be represented by Cedric Dubler and Ash Moloney. The training partners have been pushing each other to new heights, with Moloney, the World U20 Champion from 2018, setting the Oceania Record at the end of 2020.

Marathon/Race Walks:

  • Men Marathon: Liam Adams, Jack Rayner, Brett Robinson, 
  • Women Marathon: Sinead Diver, Sharon Firisua, Elle Pashley, Lisa Weightman
  • Men 50km Walk: Quentin Rew, Rhydian Cowley 
  • Women 20km Walk: Katie Hayward, Bec Henderson, Jemima Montag, 
  • Men 20km Walk: Dane Bird-Smith, Kyle Swan, Declan Tingay

The longest events of the Olympic Games will take place in Sapporo. With the athletics road events, being switched to the 5thbiggest in City in Japan to combat the heat of Tokyo. Its not the first time the Olympics has been held in the city, with the Winter Olympics held there in 1972.

Our region will have 3 Federations heading to Sapporo, with Australia, New Zealand and the Solomon Islands all having representatives in the road events. Historically, Race Walking and Marathon running have been successful events for Oceania.

Our racewalkers success began in 1920, with Australian George Parker winning a silver in the 3000m Walk. Our most successful road events are the 50km event, with Norman Read of New Zealand, winning in 1956, then Jared Tallent winning a medal in three consecutive games from 2008, highlighted by his win in 2012.  There will be two representatives in the last edition of the 50km at the Olympics, with Rhydian Cowley and Quentin Rew both toeing the line.

Over 20km, Oceania will be represented by 6 Australians, 3 Men and 3 Women. 5 of the 6 athletes, will be making their debut at the Olympics, and the 6th, Dane Bird-Smith, who won a bronze medal in this event in Rio, will be aiming to once again be on the podium.

The Marathon events take place on the last two mornings of the Olympics, with the Women on Saturday 7th and Men on Sunday 8th of August. The women’s marathon is still a young event in terms of Olympic Athletics events, first being contested in Los Angeles in 1984. 4 women will take to the start line in Sapporo, with Australia represented by Elle Pashley, Sinead Diver and Lisa Weightman. The Solomon Island’s Sharon Firasura will be her countries sole representative in athletics. This will be her second games after competing in the 5000m in Rio.

The Men’s marathon will be the last athletics event of the Games. Oceania will be represented by Malcolm Hicks, Zane Robertson, Brett Robinson, Jack Rayner and Liam Adams. Adams, Robertson and Robinson all went to Rio, with Robinson making the 5000m Final, Robertson finishing 12th in the 10,000m and Adams finishing 31st in the Marathon.

Medalist from Oceania:

 

Gold:

Shirley Strickland            80m Hurdles                  1952

Majorie Jackson              100m                             1952

Betty Cuthbert                         100m                             1956

Betty Cuthbert                         200m                             1956

AUS Women                            4x100m                1956

Shirley Strickland            80m Hurdles                  1956

Betty Cuthbert                         400m                             1964

Maureen Caird                         80m Hurdles                  1968

Debbie Flintoff King                 400m Hurdles                 1988

Cathy Freeman                        400m                             2000

Sally Pearson                           100m Hurdles                 2012

Nick Winter                    Triple Jump           1924

Yvette Williams                        Long Jump            1952

Jack Winter                    High Jump             1956

Glynis Nunn                             Heptathlon           1984

Steve Hooker                           Pole Vault             2008

Valerie Adams                         Shot Put               2008

Valerie Adams                         Shot Put               2012

Edwin Flack                    800m                            1896

Edwin Flack                    1500m                           1896

Jack Lovelock                           1500m                           1936

Herb Elliot                     1500m                           1960

Peter Snell                     800m                             1960

Murray Halberg              5000m                           1960

Peter Snell                     800m                             1964

Peter Snell                     1500m                           1964

Ralph Doubell                          800m                             1968

John Walker                            1500m                           1976

Norman Read                          50km Walk           1956

Jared Tallent                           50km Walk           2012

 

 

 

 

Silver:

AUS                               4x100m Women    1948

AUS                               4x400m Men                   1956

Pam Kilbron-Ryan           80m Hurdles                   1964

Pam Kilbron-Ryan           80m Hurdles                   1968

Raylene Boyle                          200m                             1968

Peter Norman                          200m                             1968

Raylene Boyle                          200m                             1972

Raylene Boyle                          100m                             1972

Rick Mitchell                            400m                             1980

Cathy Freeman                        400m                             1996

AUS                               4x400m Men                 2004

Sally Pearson                           100m Hurdles                 2008

Louise McPaul-Currey              Javelin                           1996

Valerie Adams                         Shot Put               2016

Bill Bruce                        Long Jump            1956

George Avery                           Triple Jump           1956

Charles Porter                         High Jump             1956

Michele Mason-Brown             High Jump             1964

Gary Honey                    Long Jump            1984

Jai Taurima                     Long Jump            2000

Tatiana Grigorieva                   Pole Vault             2000

Mitch Watt                   Long Jump            2012

Brenda Jones                           800m                            1960

Dick Quaz                       5000m                           1976

Nick Willis                      1500m                           2008

George Parker                         3000m Walk                   1920

Noel Freeman                         20km Walk           1960

Lisa Martin-Ondieki                 Marathon             1988

Jared Tallent                           50km Walk           2008

Jared Tallent                           50km Walk           2016

 

 

 

Bronze:

Stan Rowley                             60m                     1900

Stan Rowley                             100m                             1900

Stan Rowley                             200m                             1900

Nigel Barker                             100m                             1906

Nigel Barker                             400m                   1906

Arthur Porritt                          100m                             1924

Shirley Strickland            80m Hurdles                  1948

Shirley Strickland            100m                             1948

John Holland                           400m Hurdles                 1952

Norma Thrower              80m Hurdles                  1956

Marlene Mathews-Willard        200m                             1956

Marlene Mathews-Willard        100m                             1956

Hec Hogan                     100m                             1956

Shirley Strickland            100m                             1956

Judy Amoore-Pollock               400m                             1964

Marilyn Black                           200m                             1964

Jennifer Lamy                          200m                             1968

Jack Metcalfe                 Triple Jump Bronze                  1936

Tim Forsyth           High Jump Bronze           1992

Eliza McCartney    Pole Vault Bronze           2016

Gael Mulhall                            Shot Put               1984

Daniela Costian                        Discus                            1992

Tom Walsh                     Shot Put               2016

John Landy                     1500m                           1956

Al Lawrence                             10,000m               1956

Dave Power                             10,000m               1960

Ron Clarke                     10,000m               1964

John Davies                    1500m                           1964

Marise Chamberlain                 800m                             1964

Rod Dixon                      1500m                           1972

Nick Willis                      1500m                           2016

Barry Magee                  Marathon             1960

Mike Ryan             Marathon             1968

Lorraine Moller              Marathon             1992

Nathan Deakes               20km Walk           2004

Jane Saville           20km Walk           2004

Jared Tallent                  20km Walk           2008

Dane Bird Smith    20km Walk           2016

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