Team Australia has named 37 athletes to take part in the World Para Athletics Championships London 2017 which takes place at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park from 14-23 July 2017.
Determined to continue the form that saw them win 26 medals (three gold, nine silver, 14 bronze) at Rio 2016, the green and gold squad includes Paralympic gold medallists James Turner, Scott Reardon and Brayden Davidson to join reigning world champions Todd Hodgetts, Angela Ballard, Madison de Rozario and Isis Holt.
“Australia’s Para athletics team is consistently impressive on the world stage and the team headed to London 2017 are capable of once again delivering a medal tally that rivals the 22 medals won at the previous World Championships and the 26 won at Rio 2016,” Dion Russell, Athletics Australia Chairman of Selectors, said.
“Athletes bound for the World Para Athletics Championships have a combination of at least two Athletics Australia ‘A’ or ‘B’ standards for their selected events, with Selectors adhering to the Selection Philosophy of confirming the largest possible team to compete.”
A gold medallist on Paralympic debut at Rio 2016, Turner will expand his competition schedule at the World Para Athletics Championships to also include the men’s 200m and 400m T36.
He aspires for medals in each event, with his move toward the shorter distances setting him up for a tilt at continued success at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.
“The 800m is my favourite event but the Tokyo 2020 athletics programme is different and the event won’t feature next time around. For that reason, I’m making the move towards the sprints early so that I am as prepared as possible for them at the next Paralympic Games,” Turner said.
“I’d love to medal in all three events in London. I’m confident about the 200m and the 400m, but this is the first time I have tackled multiple events at a major championship so to back-up again for the 800m at the end of the programme will be a test. It’s going to be a big week.”
Team Australia also includes four debutants, with Cameron Crombie (F38), Martin Jackson (F38), Daniel Kirk (F44) and Sarah Edmiston (F44) all to take to the thrower’s circle in national colours for the first time.
Edmiston, who competes in ambulant events for athletes with a single leg limb deficiency, is excited about the opportunity the World Para Athletics Championships presents her as a developing athlete.
“It was fantastic to get the call confirming my selection. I was confident it would come having thrown a number of qualifiers but to know that’s it now real and happening is pretty exciting,” Edmiston said.
“It’s been a big year for me so far. My coach Paul, who happens to be my husband, and I have worked hard to get to this point and we are on track for the world championships now. I’m ranked third in the world and hope to come home from London with a medal.
“This is the start of a four-year journey for me. I have Tokyo in my sights and to have this first opportunity is fantastic.”
Held biennially, the World Para Athletics Championships are co-ordinated by World Para Athletics and held in parallel to the IAAF World Championships in years that don’t feature the Commonwealth Games or Paralympic Games. The Championships were first held in Berlin in 1994.
At Doha 2015, 40 athletes represented Team Australia and won 22 medals across the competition, including eight gold, to place ninth on the medal tally.
100m: Brayden Davidson (T36), Rheed McCracken (T34), Sam McIntosh (T52), Evan O’Hanlon (T38), Chad Perris (T13), Scott Reardon (T42)
200m: Rheed McCracken (T34), Chad Perris (T13), James Turner (T36)
400m: Jake Lappin (T54), Sam McIntosh (T52, Vic), James Turner (T36)
800m: Deon Kenzie (T38), Jake Lappin (T54), Rheed McCracken (T34), James Turner (T36)
1500m: Jaryd Clifford (T12), Kurt Fearnley (T54), Deon Kenzie (T38), Jake Lappin (T54), Michael Roeger (T46)
5000m: Kurt Fearnley (T54), Jake Lappin (T54, 5000m)
Long Jump: Brayden Davidson (T36), Nicholas Hum (T20)
High Jump: Aaron Chatman (T47)
Shot Put: Cameron Crombie (F38), Todd Hodgetts (F20), Martin Jackson (F38), Russell Short (F12), Jessee Wyatt (F33)
Discus Throw: Guy Henly (F37), Daniel Kirk (F44), Russell Short (F12)
Javelin: Cameron Crombie (F38), Jayden Sawyer (F38)
100m: Angela Ballard (T53), Brianna Coop (T35), Erin Cleaver (T38), Isis Holt (T35), Ella Pardy (T38), Carly Salmon (T35)
200m: Angela Ballard (T53), Torita Blake (T38), Brianna Coop (T35), Isis Holt (T35), Ella Pardy (T38), Carly Salmon (T35)
400m: Angela Ballard (T53), Torita Blake (T38), Jemima Moore (T54)
800m: Angela Ballard (T53), Madison de Rozario (T53), Jemima Moore (T54)
1500m: Angela Ballard (T53), Madison de Rozario (T53), Jemima Moore (T54)
5000m: Madison de Rozario (T53)
Long Jump: Erin Cleaver (T38), Sarah Walsh (T44)
Shot Put: Sarah Edmiston (F44), Louise Ellery (F33), Claire Keefer (F41), Brydee Moore (F33)
Discus Throw: Rae Anderson (F37), Sarah Edmiston (F44)
Javelin: Rae Anderson (F37)