Australia’s 55-strong team ready to take on world

The wait is over for Australia’s 55-strong team for the IAAF World Under 20 Championships, with competition set to launch at Bydgoszcz 2016 today and continue through Sunday 24 July.

Boasting the Rio 2016 bound Kurtis Marschall (SA, pole vault) and Jess Thornton (NSW, 400m, 4x400m relay), national junior record holders Jack Hale (Tas, 100m), Nina Kennedy (WA, pole vault) and Alex Hulley (NSW, hammer throw) and IAAF World Youth Championships medallists Darcy Roper (Qld, long jump) and Ned Weatherly (Vic, hammer throw), the squad includes 48 athletes competing in individual events, as well as the men’s and women’s 4x100m relay and women’s 4x400m relay teams.

A breeding ground for future Australian champions, the green and gold have a great history of success at these championships, with athletes such as Jana Pittman, Sally PearsonCatherine Freeman and Tim Forsyth among the recipients of the more than 50 medals won in both individual and relay events across the championship’s history.

For more information on the IAAF World Under 20 Championships, including the event timetable and live results, please click here.

To view and download the Australian Team Media Guide, please click here.

SPRINTS & HURDLES – Thornton focused on the right now at Bydgoszcz 2016

Rio 2016 bound speedster Jessica Thornton (NSW) is focused on one thing right now and that is giving herself every chance of success at Bydgoszcz 2016.

Thornton indicated preparations for the championships haven’t changed since the Australian Olympic Committee confirmed her spot on the women’s 4x400m relay team for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

“We always knew it could have been a possibility to be selected, I think we are just taking it day-by-day and making sure I’m here for under-20’s at the moment. Then once this is over and I’ve finished the relay, I can focus on Rio and start getting a bit more excited for it,” Thornton said.

And, it seems the key to success for Thornton is focusing on the controllable, not creating big goals or being affected by what is going on around her.

“I’m trying to control myself, stay focused and be prepared for the 400m here in Bydgoszcz.”

Read the complete Australian sprints and hurdles preview here.

ENDURANCE – Matthew Ramsden is one of 17 to take on world in middle distance and walks

After dominating the domestic season, claiming both the 1500m and 5000m national under 20 titles in Perth (WA), Matthew Ramsden (WA) will be out to mix it with the might of Africa at the 2016 IAAF World Under 20 Championships.

“The 1500m is always the blue riband event at any championships. Rivalries and tactics make this event pretty exciting to watch, so winning it is a real sweet feeling,” Ramsden said.

“My aim at the IAAF World U20 Championships is to finish on the podium.”

Having given up basketball in preference for athletics, the American college bound track runner, relatively new to the 1500m will be joined by Melbourne University athlete Isaac Hockey (VIC) on the start line.

Read the complete Australian endurance preview here.

JUMPS – Marschall, Armstrong, Kennedy and Philippe to fly in the pole vault

Australian under-20 pole vault record holder Kurtis Marschall (SA) will headline Australia’s jumps contingent at the 2016 IAAF World U20 Championships.

Marschall came to national attention after producing a personal best of 5.70m to book a spot on the Rio 2016 Australian Olympic Team at the Bauhaus Junioren Gala in Mannheim (GER) last month, but has indicated that a medal in Bydgoszcz was still the focus short term.

There is no shortage of experience in the pole vault ranks, with entry lists confirming Angus Armstrong (NSW) will start alongside Marschall in the boy’s event, while Nina Kennedy (WA) is set to take flight alongside childhood friend Emma Philippe (WA) in the girl’s competition.

The stock of talent continues on the long jump runway, with IAAF World Youth Championships 2015 silver medallist Darcy Roper (QLD) and Shemaiah James (QLD) set to take on world’s best under-20 athletes.

Read the complete Australian jumps preview here.

THROWS – Hulley on hunt for medal, as she leads green and gold throwers in Bydgoszcz

Alex Hulley (NSW) will lead the green and gold throws charge at Bydgoszcz 2016.

With a personal best of 65.75m, Hulley will be out to make history as the first Australian woman to medal at the championships in the hammer throw. Australia’s best performance at these championships came in 2002 when Gabrielle Neighbour (VIC) finished fourth with distance of 60.17m.

“My main goal is to win it, but the first thing to do is to make the final, get past the qualifying and then I’ll be looking to medal,” Hulley said.

“I’m improving each day, so I’m coming into my peak. It has gone really well, it’s been great having two competitions over here and everyone has acclimatised, no one is jet lagged.

Read the complete Australian throws preview here.

IAAF World Under 20 Championships

Bydgoszcz (POL)

19-24 July, 2016

100m: Trae Williams (Qld), Jack Hale (Tas)
200m: Trae Williams (Qld)
400m: Lawson Power (Vic)
800m: Lachlan Barber (Vic), Joseph Deng (Qld)
1500m: Matthew Ramsden (WA), Isaac Hockey (Vic)
5000m: Matthew Ramsden (WA)
110m hurdles: Nicholas Andrews (NSW), Jacob McCorry (NSW)
High jump: Josh Connolly (Qld), John Dodds (Qld)
Pole vault: Kurtis Marschall (SA), Angus Armstrong (NSW)
Long jump: Darcy Roper (Qld), Shemaiah James (Qld)
Triple jump: Julian Konle (WA)
Hammer throw: Ned Weatherly (Vic), Nathan Wilkins (Qld)
Javelin: Conor Warren (Qld), Matthew Rees (NSW)
10,000m walk: Adam Garganis (Vic), Tyler Jones (NSW)
4x100m relay: Trae Williams (Qld), Jack Hale (Tas), Nicholas Andrews (NSW), Cameron Searle (Vic), Brandon Herrigan (Qld), Lachlan McDermott (WA)
Decathlon: Alec Diamond (NSW)

100m: Sam Geddes (NSW)
200m: Maddison Coates (Vic)
400m: Jessica Thornton (NSW), Molly Blakey (NSW)
800m: Sarah Billings (Vic), Georgia Hansen (Vic)
1500m: Amy Harding-Delooze (NSW), Lauren Ryan (Vic)
3000m: Lauren Ryan (Vic), Amelia Mazza-Downie (Vic)
5000m: Annabel McDermott (NSW)
100m hurdles: Danielle Shaw (Vic), Gabriella O’Grady (NSW)
400m hurdles: Alanah Yukich (WA)
3000m steeplechase: Beth Croft (NSW), Georgia Winkcup (Vic)
High jump: Alysha Burnett (NSW)
Pole vault: Nina Kennedy (WA), Emma Philippe (WA)
Discus throw: Kirsty Williams (Qld), Bianca Hansen (Vic)
Hammer throw: Alex Hulley (NSW)
Javelin: Kathryn Brooks (Vic)
10,000m walk: Tayla-Paige Billington (Vic), Clara Smith (Qld)
4x100m relay: Sam Geddes (NSW), Nicole Kay (Qld), Nana-Adoma Owosu-Afriyie (Vic), Kyla King (NSW), Gabriella O’Grady (NSW), Luisa Healey (NSW)
4x400m relay: Jessica Thornton (NSW), Molly Blakey (NSW), Olivia Cason (NSW), Alanah Yukich (WA), Sarah Billings (Vic)

Heptathlon: Alysha Burnett (NSW), Celeste Mucci (Vic)