Melbourne, Australia; 8 February 2024 – As the clock counts down to the Olympic Games, the intensity of the Australian middle distance scene is only ramping up, with the stage set for a battle between national record holder Catriona Bisset, Commonwealth medallist Abbey Caldwell and an all-star cast at the Maurie Plant Meet – Melbourne next Thursday.
With entry lists released today for the World Athletics Continental Tour Gold meet, the Women’s 800m promises to be a tantalising tussle as nine of Australia’s brightest middle distance athletes, along with the USA’s Brooke Feldmeier take on their second challenge of the Chemist Warehouse Summer Series.
The Australian record holder at 1:57.78, Catriona Bisset will toe the line at Lakeside Stadium as the favourite, with the world ranked number seven eager to keep her status as the country’s premier 800m specialist – after a year that saw her secure multiple podium finishes on the Diamond League circuit.
With only margins separating Bisset from Australia’s second fastest half-miler in history, Abbey Caldwell (1:58.48) and her training partner, 1500m record holder Linden Hall hot on her heels (1:59.22), Bisset knows that every move on the track will count.
“I’m incredibly excited for the opportunity to put on a show for my friends and fans in my home city of Melbourne,” Bisset said.
“The standard of middle distance running in this country is rising every year which means I’ve had to lift my game too. The last few months of life and training have been boring in a good way; hard sessions and hard on the naps, so I’m keen to run a fast time.
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“I’m looking forward to the privilege of lining up against Australia’s best and showing the world we’re a force to be reckoned with. Get down to the Maurie Plant Meet and come watch me, your girl, in the ring (track) with Australia’s best!”
Olympic duo Georgia Griffith and Bendere Oboya will join the charge, with the versatile athletes honing their talent in the two-lap race, while Feldmeier brings down under a 1:59.08 best to push the Australian field to their limits.
18-year-old Claudia Hollingsworth is set to continue her steep trajectory in 2024 with opportunities at the Olympic Games and World Under 20 Championships within reach. Garnering international experience at both the 2022 World Championships and World Under 20 Championships, Hollingsworth will look to rewrite her 2:01.60 personal best from 2021, where she claimed silver behind Bisset at the National Championships just days after her 16th birthday. University of Florida product Imogen Barrett adds depth to the field to make the race a world-class show for the second iteration of the Maurie Plant Meet – Melbourne.
Tickets to the Maurie Plant Meet – Melbourne at Lakeside Stadium on February 15 can be purchased HERE.
The Maurie Plant Meet – Melbourne is supported by World Athletics and the Victorian Government via Visit Victoria and part of the Chemist Warehouse Summer Series. The meet will be streamed live and free on Seven’s digital platform, 7plus.