Adelaide, Australia; 11 March 2024 –  A triumphant opening day in Adelaide has set the tone for a memorable 2024 Chemist Warehouse Australian Athletics Championships, with Olympic race walker Declan Tingay returning to top form while Paralympic champion James Turner led the charge for Paris and the nation’s fastest juniors were crowned.

Tingay (WA) raced to gold in the opening event of the day, setting a new championship record of 38:07.88 in the Men’s 10,000m Race Walk when coming within five seconds of his own Australian record. After missing February’s Australian 20km Race Walking Championships, the Tokyo Olympian made a statement return to the track to take down Rhydian Cowley (VIC) who trailed in a career-best 38:13.51.

Photo credit: Casey Sims /Athletics Australia

“When you are fit, you know it. I knew that today would be fast, and I knew we would be knocking on the door of the championship record definitely, but in the back of my mind a new national record. We fell a bit short but falling a bit short of 38-flat is not bad,” Tingay said.

While Tingay won the race, he lost his Australian Under 20 record at the hands of Isaac Beacroft (NSW) who blazed his way to a time of 40:44.47 to put his best foot forward for the 2024 World Under 20 Championships in Peru this August, placing the cherry on top of a prolific season that saw him achieve selection for his first Australian team travelling to the World Athletics Race Walking Team Championships in Turkey this month.

Photo credit: Casey Sims /Athletics Australia

“I learned at Supernova in January that I shouldn’t go out with the Open boys who are on track for 38 minutes. I learned to do my own race and trust myself. We have so many race walkers coming through and it’s so good for things like the Olympics in Brisbane in 2032,” Beacroft said.

Jemima Montag (VIC) rounded out the walking action when adding another Australian title to her collection in 43:54.80 in Women’s 10,000m Race Walk, as Alexandra Griffin (WA) clinched the Under 20 title with a breakthrough walk of 45:56.22.

Paralympic champion James Turner (ACT, T36) lit up the SA Athletics Stadium in the Men’s 400m Ambulant, leading the charge with a time of 52.91 for score of 97.73 on the BASELINE system, as middle-distance duo Jaryd Clifford (VIC, T12) and Michael Roeger (SA, T46) also posted Paralympic ‘A’ qualifiers with times of 3:50.33 and 3:50.25 over 1500m.

Photo credit: Casey Sims /Athletics Australia

Camryn Newton-Smith (QLD) could do no wrong the first day of the Women’s Heptathlon with three personal bests from four events, headed by a 1.84m clearance in the high jump and 24.67 (-1.8) reading over 200m. The 23-year-old made strong foundations for the second 6000 point showing of her career, concluding on 3745 points ahead of Tori West (QLD) on 3578 points.

Photo credit: Casey Sims /Athletics Australia

Australia’s fastest juniors were crowned in the Under 20 showdowns over 100m, as 16-year-old Gout Gout (QLD) reigned supreme in 10.48 (+1.1) and Aleksandra Stoilova (NSW) made the trip home from Clemson University worthwhile when winning in 11.46 (-0.3).

Casey Sims /Athletics Australia

“The boys had great starts and being such a top-end runner, running them down is one of my strengths. It’s about not trying to put pressure on myself and just being me,” Gout said.


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Australia’s top Paralympians were also in form in the field, as Sarah Walsh (ACT, T64) leapt to her third Paralympic B qualifier in the Women’s Long Jump Ambulant with a performance of 5.01m (+0.3). Meanwhile, Rosemary Little (NSW, F32) clinched gold from Maria Strong (VIC, F33) in the Women’s Shot Put (Seated), as the duo secured Paralympic ‘B’ qualifiers of 6.13m and 6.69m respectively.

Photo credit: Casey Sims /Athletics Australia

Jessica Hull (NSW) and Linden Hall (VIC) took charge in their respective heats of the Women’s 1500m. Having already met the qualifying standard for Paris, the pair will race alongside Australia’s fourth fastest metric miler, Georgia Griffith (VIC) and Sarah Billings (VIC).

Photo credit: Casey Sims /Athletics Australia

Commonwealth champion Oliver Hoare (NSW) was the fastest man over the distance clocking 3:38.80 in Heat 3, while Olympic finalist Stewart McSweyn (TAS) and teenage sensation Cameron Myers (ACT) took line honours in their respective heats to make for an enticing final on Saturday.

Photo credit: Casey Sims /Athletics Australia

In her first Australian championships in two years, reigning world champion Nina Kennedy (WA) made light work of the Women’s Pole Vault qualifying round, clearing 3.90m on her first attempt ahead of Saturday’s final.  Also coasting through qualifying was Matthew Denny (QLD) who was one and done in the Men’s Discus with an impressive 66.68m throw to stake his claim for national title number seven in the event.

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Day Two of the Chemist Warehouse Australian Athletics Championships continues tomorrow from 9:00am ACST, with eight hours of coverage broadcast live and free on Seven’s digital platform, 7plus from 12.25pm ACST.