Current and Former Little Athletes set World Junior Qualifying Times at Australian Championships
The Australian Track and Field Championships held last week at Sydney Olympic Park Athletic Centre doubled as the Tokyo Olympic Nomination Trials for senior athletes, it was also the nomination trials for the World Under 20 Championships due to be held in Nairobi, Kenya, later this year.
Charlie Jeffreson (Mosman) has had a fantastic season over 800m, improving his Personal Best from 1:53 down to 1:47. Winning the U20 title at just 16 years of age, Jeffreson has proved this season that he can compete with the senior athletes over the distance. In the 800m final, Jeffreson’s NSW teammate Joshua Atkinson (Hills District Little Athletics) went under the 1:50 barrier for the first time, finishing the championships with a silver medal in the 400m and 800m with two world junior qualifying times to his name. Mitchell Lightfoot (Raymond Terrace) secured his first World U20 qualifying mark in the U20 men’s hurdles, winning the bronze medal.
The U20 women’s Javelin was one of the most competitive disciplines of the championships, with five women over the 50.50m standard. Lianna Davidson (Kurrajong Bilpin) secured her fourth throw over the mark to grab the bronze medal in a throw of 52.11m
Sally Shokry (Hills District) threw a huge 50.91m in the discus throw for her first qualifying mark. Ashlyn Blackstock (Eastlakes) had already secured the mark earlier in the season with a throw of 49.79m at the 2021 Sydney Track Classic.
Tomysha Clark (Port Hacking) lept 6.19m (+1.2) in the Long Jump for the silver. Clark has had an injury ridden season however is showing a return to form, edging closer to her 6.25m personal best set in early 2020.
Nicola Hogg (Mosman) finished the championships with silver in the 1500m and bronze in the 800m. In both events, she went under the qualification standards adding to her 1500m mark achieved earlier in March. The 800m was won by Matilda Ryan (Jamison) in 2:05.87, securing the automatic nomination for the Championships in Kenya and adding a third sub 2:07 run to her name.
Jasmin Guthrie (Northern Districts) took the win in the U20 Women’s 400m over NSW teammate Caitlin Ferrier (Kurrajong Bilpin). Ferrier secured her place on the team by taking out the 200m title. Three former and current NSW Little Athletes also went under the standard in addition to Ferrier. Emma Lee (Sutherland), Olivia Inkster (Manly Warringah) and now QLD representative Torrie Lewis (Macquarie Hunter) ran under 24.07 over the 8-day championships.
A handful of former and current NSW Little Athletes have also set World Under 20 Qualifiers before the Australian Athletics Championships. These include Rosie Tozer (Wollongong City) in the High Jump, Imogen Stewart (Bankstown Sports) in the 1500m and 3000m, Imogen Gardiner (Northern Districts) in the 1500m, Sidney Burrell (Hills District) in the 400m, Jessica Laurance (Doonside) in the 200m, and Shola Adeniran (Bankstown Sports) in the 100m.
Please note Athletics Australia has released Frequently Asked Questions regarding the World Athletics Under 20 Championships. This includes a statement which reads “While the World Athletics Under 20 Championships is an important development opportunity for young athletes, Athletics Australia is taking the time to understand all the risks in sending a team to the Championships.”
“At this point in time, AA is planning to send a team however, due to the constantly evolving circumstances at a global level, we will provide updates and decisions in due