Australia’s next generation of talent will look to recapture the form of our IAAF World Relays team when they battle it out at the Thomas A. Robinson Stadium in Nassau (BAH) for the 2017 Commonwealth Youth Games.
Confirmed today by Commonwealth Games Australia (CGA), the 23-strong athletics section features 10 boys and 13 girls, including young gun of Team Australia at the Coles Nitro Athletics Melbourne series Riley Day (Qld, 100m, 200m), and promising middle-distance runner Keely Small (ACT, 800m), who ran a stunning 2:01.46 to win the two-lap race at the SUMMERofATHS Grand Prix in Canberra (ACT).
The athletics section will join an Australian team of more than 100, competing across four days on 19-23 July 2017.
On the track, Day and Small will be joined by sprinters Mia Gross (Vic), Jake Doran (Qld) and Yadin Ngeng (NSW), competing in the 100m and 200m, while Australian under 18 championships gold and silver medallists, Ella Connolly (Qld) and Bendere Oboya (NSW), will compete in the girl’s 400m.
Carly Thomas (NSW) and Jordan Doris (NSW) line up for the girl’s and boy’s 800m, Jackson Sharp (NSW) is set to start in the boy’s 1500m and Montanna McAvoy (Qld) will join Melany Smart (WA) for the girl’s 3000m with personal bests of 9:14.67 and 9:17.89 respectively.
The girl’s 100m hurdles features national under 18 champion Lateisha Willis (Vic), while Sebastien Moir (NSW) start in the boy’s 400m hurdles.
Nine athletes will compete in field events, with Benjamin Schmidtchen (Qld) leading the way in the boy’s long jump. The high jump welcomes Rebecca Haley (Qld), Emily Whelan (NSW) and Sean Szalek (WA), with Szalek clearing a career best 2.13m at the Western Australian Athletics Championships in February.
In the discus throw, Alexander Kolesnikoff (NSW) will battle it out for gold, while the javelin includes green and gold quartet Ellie Bowyer (Qld), Alexandra Roberts (Qld), Neil Janse (Qld) and Oscar Sullivan (Qld).
The Nassau 2017 Commonwealth Youth Games will be the sixth edition of the event, which started in 2000.
The event enables smaller nations and cities, unable to host a Commonwealth Games, to enjoy the socio-cultural, tourism and other legacy benefits of hosting a major international sporting event, while also providing each Commonwealth nation the opportunity to produce and prepare their next generation of star athletes.
At the 2015 Commonwealth Youth Games in Apia (SAM), Australia won 15 medals in athletics, including four gold, six silver and five bronze, to place third on the medal tally behind Nigeria and South Africa.
To view the Australian team announcement published by Commonwealth Games Australia today, please click here.
2017 Commonwealth Youth Games
19-23 July 2017
100m: Jake Doran (Qld)
200m: Yadin Ngeng (NSW)
800m: Jordan Doris (NSW)
1500m: Jackson Sharp (NSW)
400m hurdles: Sebastien Moir (NSW)
Long Jump: Benjamin Schmidtchen (Qld)
High Jump: Sean Szalek (WA)
Discus Throw: Alexander Kolesnikoff (NSW)
Javelin: Neil Janse (Qld), Oscar Sullivan (Qld)
100m: Riley Day (Qld), Mia Gross (Vic)
200m: Riley Day (Qld),
400m: Ella Connolly (Qld), Bendere Oboya (NSW)
800m: Keely Small (ACT), Carley Thomas (NSW)
3000m: Montanna McAvoy (Qld), Melany Smart (WA)
100m hurdles: Lateisha Willis (Vic)
High Jump: Rebecca Haley (Qld), Emily Whelan (NSW)
Javelin: Ellie Bowyer (Qld), Alexandra Roberts (Qld)