A strong Australian Team comprising 54 athletes will take on the world’s best when the 17th edition of the IAAF World U20 Championships gets underway tomorrow in Tampere, Finland.
Australia will be represented across all 11 sessions of competition with the championships running from Tuesday 10 July 4pm AEST and continue through to Sunday 15 July 11pm AEST.
1466 athletes will be competing representing 160 countries from all parts of the world.
The Team boasts a host of international experience with senior World Championship and Commonwealth Games representative Riley Day (100m, 200m, 4x100m), Commonwealth Games heptathlon fourth placegetter Celeste Mucci, Paralympian and IPC world record holder Jaryd Clifford (1500m), senior World Championship representative Ella Connolly (400m, 4x400m relay), and Commonwealth Youth individual champions Carley Thomas (800m) and Alexander Kolesnikoff (shot put).
National under-18 record holders Zane Branco (200m), Ashley Moloney (decathlon) and Katie Hayward (5000m walk) are part of the Team with Branco and Moloney yet to test themselves at a major international meet.
Sprinter Jake Doran (100m, 4 x 100m relay), who recently broke the Australian Under 20 100m record is also set to take on the best teenagers in the world at the 6-day competition..
Athletics Australian President Mark Arbib knows the incredible standard of competition and how important it is on the journey to senior competition.
“The World Under 20 Championships have historically proven to be a strong breeding ground for our future track & field champions,” Arbib said.
“The green and gold have a great record of success with athletes such as Jana Pittman, Sally Pearson, Catherine Freeman, Dani Stevens and Tim Forsyth among the recipients of more than 50 medals won in both individual and relay events across the history of the Championships.”
Team Leader Sara Heasly is happy with how the team’s preparations have gone in the lead in to the Champs.
“We have seen great performances and several personal bests from athletes in Townsville before we left Australia and then again in meets in Germany and Finland in the lead-up,” Heasly said.
“There is going to be tough competition and the main focus is on repeating the performances that got the athletes here in the first place.
“Being part of a large team, travelling and competing overseas is all part of the fantastic learning experience.
“For some of the athletes it’s their first taste of international competition so it’s also very exciting for them and they’ll need to focus to get the best out of themselves.
“There is a great feeling in the Team and we can’t wait for competition to get underway.”
In the first session of competition 15 Australians will be in action including Moloney and Gary Haasbroek, who both feature near the top of the world U20 decathlon rankings. Doran, who ran the Australian record (10.15) just last week gets his chance with Josh Azzopardi in the 100m heats.
Media Guide, Previews and Coverage
Athletics Australia will cover the championships live on Facebook and Twitter using the hashtags #IAAFWorlds & #tampere2018 as well as session and day summaries for all social channels and athletics.com.au.
A comprehensive Media Guide (PDF) with athlete biographies and event by event historical information is available from the World U20 hub on the Athletics Australia homepage
Previews for every discipline show who’s in action, to help media and fans follow the event.