Sydney, Australia; 15 March – Three-time global medallist Eleanor Patterson is poised for a soaring homecoming in her first Sydney competition since 2020, with next Saturday’s Chemist Warehouse Sydney Track Classic celebrating her eagerly awaited return to the city she now calls home.

 

The meet not only marks the 2022 world champion’s return to competitive high jumping domestically after a stint overseas for the World Athletics indoor season, but also serves as a precursor to her journey towards the Chemist Warehouse Australian Athletics Championships in Adelaide, and ultimately, the Paris Olympic Games.

“I’m feeling like I’m in good condition but it’s just a matter of bringing it out next Saturday,” Patterson said.

Eleanor Patterson winning the women’s high jump with an impressive leap of 1.93mQ: photo by JP for RT

“I’m really looking forward to competing here at home. I’ve seen athletes having so much fun competing here in Australia with big crowds at each meet, so I’m hoping to have that same hometown support to spur me to some big jumps.”

Leaping to a then-equal area record of 2.02m at the World Athletics Championships in Oregon in 2022, Patterson became the first Australian women’s high jump gold medallist and the 10th Australian able-bodied track and field athlete to claim a world title.

Since then she has claimed Commonwealth silver, World Indoor Championships silver, and in a remarkable display after an injury-interrupted season, a silver medal at the 2023 World Championships.

 

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“Entering into 2024, the Olympic year holds great importance. It’s a year where athletes are putting their best foot forward, and I know I’m doing that. Competing at home feels like the right stepping-stone for my preparation for Paris.”

Born and raised in Leongatha, Victoria but now a city-girl, Patterson’s excitement for next Saturday extends beyond her own performance as crowds get ready to witness the next generation in action, with teenage teammate Erin Shaw, (1.90m) a World Championships representative in her own right, and Izobelle Louison-Roe (1.86m) set to shine at Sydney’s biggest track and field meet at E.S Marks Athletics Field.

“It’s incredible to see the young guns, like Erin and Izzy pulling impressive performances at their age,” Patterson said.

“Both myself and Nicola (Olyslagers, Olympic silver medallist) push each other, creating a standard that inspires the younger ones. What we have achieved shows that it’s possible to excel on the world stage – something I dreamed of from my little country town. Now it’s their turn to shine too.”

Nicola Olyslagers, Sydney 2023

The Sydney Track Classic is a World Athletics Continental Tour Challenger meet and part of the Chemist Warehouse Summer Series. The meet will begin at 4pm AEDT, and will be streamed live and free on Seven’s digital platform, 7plus.