Jared Tallent in the 50km race walk at the London 2012 Olympic Games (© Getty Images)
New faces and seasoned performers have been selected to represent Australia at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
With 61 athletes, it is Australia’s biggest Olympic team since the 2000 Games on home soil in Sydney. A number of athletes have progressed to this Olympic team from recent age-group championships.
Jessica Thornton was the 400m champion at the 2014 Youth Olympic Games and has now been selected for the 4x400m relay in Rio. At 18, she is the youngest member of the Australian athletics team.
“I’ve dreamed of competing at the Olympic Games since I was five years old,” said Thornton, who will compete in the 400m and 4x400m at the IAAF World U20 Championships Bydgoszcz 2016 next week. “To be only 18 and to have achieved it is something that I will never forget.”
Thornton’s World U20 Championships teammate Kurtis Marschall has also been named on the team for Rio after clearing an Oceanian U20 pole vault record of 5.70m.
The team also includes seasoned performers such as Olympic 50km race walk champion and team captain Jared Tallent and world long jump silver medallist Fabrice Lapierre.
Injury has ended the Rio campaign for defending 100m hurdles champion Sally Pearson and 1500m runner Melissa Duncan.
“Competition at Rio 2016 will be hard fought, but I am confident that our team will do both themselves and their country proud, providing many highlights,” said Athletics Australia head coach Craig Hilliard.
Athletics Australia for the IAAF
Australian team for Rio
100m: Josh Clarke
200m: Alex Hartmann
800m: Peter Bol, Luke Mathews, Jeff Riseley
1500m: Ryan Gregson, Luke Mathews
5000m: Sam McEntee, Brett Robinson, Patrick Tiernan
10,000m: David McNeill, Ben St Lawrence
Marathon: Liam Adams, Michael Shelley, Scott Westcott
High jump: Joel Baden, Brandon Starc
Pole vault: Kurtis Marschall
Long jump: Henry Frayne, Fabrice Lapierre
Shot put: Damien Birkinhead
Discus: Matt Denny, Benn Harradine
Javelin: Hamish Peacock, Josh Robinson
20km race walk: Dane Bird-Smith, Rhydian Cowley, Jared Tallent
50km race walk: Chris Erickson, Brendon Reading, Jared Tallent
Decathlon: Cedric Dubler
100m: Melissa Breen
200m: Ella Nelson
400m: Morgan Mitchell, Anneliese Rubie
800m: Selma Kajan
1500m: Jenny Blundell, Zoe Buckman Linden Hall
5000m: Madeline Hills, Genevieve LaCaze, Eloise Wellings
10,000m: Eloise Wellings
Marathon: Milly Clark, Jess Trengove, Lisa Weightman
3000m steeplechase: Madeline Hills, Genevieve LaCaze, Victoria Mitchell
100m hurdles: Michelle Jenneke
400m hurdles: Lauren Wells
High jump: Eleanor Patterson
Pole vault: Alana Boyd
Long jump: Chelsea Jaensch, Brooke Stratton
Discus: Dani Samuels
Javelin: Kim Mickle, Kathryn Mitchell, Kelsey-Lee Roberts
20km race walk: Tanya Holliday, Regan Lamble, Rachel Tallent
4x400m: Monica Brennan, Morgan Mitchell, Anneliese Rubie, Caitlin Sargent, Jessica Thornton, Lauren Well