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News07 Feb 2023

Coburn and MacLean to challenge Australian stars in Melbourne 1500m


Heather MacLean leads the women's mile in Boston (© Dan Vernon)

The fast and the fierce are set to light up the women’s 1500m at the Maurie Plant Meet – Melbourne, a World Athletics Continental Tour Gold event, with US duo Emma Coburn and Heather MacLean squaring up against an all-star Australian cast at Lakeside Stadium on 23 February.

Joining their US compatriots Fred Kerley and Matthew Centrowitz, who have already been announced for the Melbourne 200m and John Landy Mile, respectively, MacLean and Coburn will take on three of Australia’s fastest ever women over the distance. National record-holder Jessica Hull, Australian all-time No.3 Georgia Griffith and Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Abbey Caldwell are all set to toe the line.

World indoor finalist MacLean recently ran a 4:23.42 mile PB at the World Indoor Tour Gold meeting in Boston, while 2017 world 3000m steeplechase champion Coburn crossed the line in 4:28.84 in the same race to place seventh in a tightly contested field.

Both Coburn and MacLean will launch their Australian campaigns as part of the US team’s 4x2km mixed relay squad set to compete at the World Athletics Cross Country Championships Bathurst 23, where they will size up both Caldwell and Hall in the relay race before flying south to Melbourne.

“I am so excited to be heading to Australia to participate in the World Cross Country Championships relay in Bathurst and the Maurie Plant Meet in Melbourne,” said Coburn.

“Testing my fitness in a 1500m at the Maurie Plant Meet, going against some of the top 1500m runners in the world, will be a fun challenge. I’m looking forward to mixing it up and racing in Australia instead of racing the indoor track season in America.”

With Hall, Griffith and Caldwell all cementing their spot in the field, the women’s 1500m is shaping up to be one of the night’s most highly anticipated events. MacLean is the fastest of the talented quintet, sporting a 3:58.76 personal best from last September, but is only marginally quicker than seven-time Australian record-holder Hull, who stormed down the home straight at the Tokyo Olympics in 3:58.81.

For further information on the Maurie Plant Meet – Melbourne, visit theevent website.

Organisers for World Athletics