A full set of four relay teams in addition to six individual athletes have been added to the Australian athletics team that is bound for Taipei to compete at the 29th Summer Universiade (World University Games) this August.
The announcement today confirms the place of seventeen student-athletes to the previously announced team, bringing the total Australian team size to 49.
One who has been added to the team is University of Sydney sprinter and returning Uniroo Jin Su Jung who will run in the 100m.
Jung will also play his part in the men’s 4x100m team alongside Rohan Browning (The University of Sydney), who has already been named in the 100m and 200m with Simon Greig (The University of Queensland) and Nicholas Bate (The University of Newcastle).
Two years ago at the Gwangju Games, Jung was a finalist in the 100m, finishing 7th, before leading off the 4x100m relay team that finished a nail-biting 4th place.
“It’s hard not to get excited about this year's team,” Jung said.
“Rohan is such an exciting young sprinter that is still very early in his career. Put him in green and gold and we are likely to see something special.”
Jung says he learnt a lot from his first World University Games experience and will benefit from it in Taipei.
“I was very nervous going in the heats in 2015 and perhaps ran it a little too fast than I needed to. This time around I am hoping to run a more controlled campaign rather than go guns blazing from the beginning,” he said.
The 23-year-old is finishing his combined Commerce (Finance) and Law degree at The University of Sydney this year and finds studying and training at the same time rewarding but at times arduous.
“I’ve enjoyed my time at Law School as it is completely separate from running which allowed me to keep a healthy balance,” Jung added.
“Having said that, it is not without its challenges - It hasn't been the easiest to wake up at 5.30 in the morning, work all day, go to training, come home, eat and then study or do assignments til late hours into the night.”
With both men’s and women’s 4x100m and 4x400m teams, Taipei will be only the second time Australia has had four relay teams compete at Summer Universiade, with Beijing in 2001 being the other example.
On a larger scale, the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games and the Daegu 2011 World Championships are the only major competitions in recent times to have four Australian relay teams.
In a sign that bodes well for the future of Australian sprinting, Athletics Australia Head Coach Craig Hilliard said the World University Games is a great platform to develop relay skills at a major championships.
“It’s important to provide opportunities for athletes where possible and we’ve had the chance to do that with the relay squads at the World University Games this year,” Hilliard said.
“Our hope is that athletes use the experience to spring board their continued development.”
Other athletes that have been added to the team include US-based distance runner Clare O'Brien (Boise State University) in the 5000m, Isaac Hockey (The University of Melbourne) will run the 1500m while Riley Cocks (Flinders University) and Isobel Batt-Doyle (University of Washington) will both tackle the men’s and women’s 10,000m.
Headlining the previously announced Australians heading to Taipei are Rio Olympians Michelle Jenneke (The University of Sydney, 100m hurdles), Rachel Tallent (The University of Canberra, 20km walk) and Matthew Denny (Griffith University Gold Coast, discus and hammer throw), who all won medals in Gwangju two years ago.
Also selected in the team is fellow 2016 Olympian Jenny Blundell (The University of Sydney, 1500m, 5000m) with seven track and field athletes competing for the Australian Uniroos at their second consecutive World University Games.
In the field events, Taryn Gollshewsky (Central Queensland University) and Nicola McDermott (The University of Sydney) return for action in the discus throw and high jump respectively.
2015 world championships representative Nicholas Hough (The University of Sydney) starts in the men’s 110m hurdles, along with Angus Armstrong (The University of Sydney, pole vault) and Kyle Cranston (Australian Catholic University, decathlon).
Lora Storey (The Australian College of Physical Education) will compete in the women’s 800m after a stunning victory in the women’s two lap race at the 2017 Australian Athletics Championships, with national long jump champion Chris Mitrevski (RMIT University) also set to make his Uniroos debut.
“The World University Games provide a fantastic opportunity for Australia’s up and coming athletes to be exposed to the rigours of international competition, and with this in mind the overriding selection principle has been to select a team that features all qualified and eligible athletes,” Dion Russell, Athletics Australia Chairman of Selectors, said.
“Athletics has a proud history of success at the Universiade and I am confident that the selected team can build on this tradition. The athletics section features three medallists from the event two years ago returning for competition and many national champions or championship medallists keen to make their mark on the world stage.”
One of the largest sporting events in the world, the Summer Universiade has launched the careers of an abundance of track and field stars including Shirley Strickland (100m, 100m hurdles), Ralph Doubell (800m), Alison Inverarity (high jump), Emma George (pole vault), Dani Samuels (discus throw) and Kylie Wheeler (heptathlon).
At the 2015 edition in Gwangju (KOR), Australia’s athletics section won an impressive five medals.
Dane Bird-Smith (Qld) led the way to gold in the men’s 20km walk in a time of 1:21:30. He has since won bronze at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
This great result was joined by a silver medal to Matthew Denny (Qld) in the men’s discus throw and bronze to Naa Anang (Qld) in the women’s long jump, Michelle Jenneke (NSW) in the women’s 100m hurdles and the team of Rachel Tallent (Vic), Stephanie Stigwood (NSW) and Nicole Fagan (NSW) in the women’s 20km walk.
The Summer Universiade is held every two years under the banner of the International University Sports Federation. Athletics has been a fixture of the competition schedule since the Universiade began in Turin (ITA) in 1959.
Note: It was previously reported that James Nipperess, Jack Bruce and Brianna Illarda were included in the updated team but they have since withdrawn. Nick Andrews, Jordan Gusman and David Brock have all withdrawn as well.
Athletics Section – 29th Summer Universiade
19-30 August 2017
|100m||Rohan Browning (The University of Sydney), Jin Su Jung (The University of Sydney)|
|800m||Steve Knuckey (RMIT University)|
|1500m||Adam Pyke (The University of Melbourne), Isaac Hockey (The University of Melbourne)|
|10,000m||Bryce Anderson (University of Canberra), Riley Cocks (Flinders University)|
|110m Hurdles||Nicholas Hough (The University of Sydney)|
|High Jump||Joseph Baldwin (The University of Melbourne)|
|Pole Vault||Angus Armstrong (The University of Sydney), Stephen Clough (The University of Western Australia)|
|Long Jump||Chris Mitrevski (RMIT University), Liam Adcock (The University of Queensland)|
|Javelin Throw||Liam O’Brien (The University of Queensland), William White (The University of Queensland)|
|Decathlon||Kyle Cranston (Australian Catholic University)|
|Half Marathon||Dylan Evans (The University of Tasmania)|
|4x100m relay||Jin Su Jung, Rohan Browning, Simon Greig (The University of Queensland), Nicholas Bate (The University of Newcastle), Nicholas Hough (Reserve)|
|4x400m relay||Daniel Mowen (The University of Queensland), Taylor Burns (Queensland University of Technology), Tristan Robinson (The University of Melbourne), Harrison Roubin (Deakin University)|
|800m||Lora Storey (The Australian College of Physical Education), Georgia Griffith (Monash University)|
|5000m||Clare O'Brien (Boise State University)|
|10,000m||Isobel Batt-Doyle (University of Washington)|
|100m Hurdles||Michelle Jenneke (The University of Sydney), Elizabeth Clay (Griffith University)|
|3000m Steeplechase||Stella Radford (The University of Melbourne) Paige Campbell (Charles Sturt University)|
|High Jump||Hannah Joye (Griffith University Gold Coast), Nicola McDermott (The University of Sydney)|
|Discus Throw||Taryn Gollshewsky (Central Queensland University)|
|Hammer Throw||Lara Neilsen (University of Southern Queensland)|
|Javelin Throw||Kathryn Brooks (The University of Melbourne), Mackenzie Little (Stanford University)|
|Heptathlon||Alysha Burnett (Australian Catholic University)|
|20km walk||Jessica Pickles (The University of Queensland)|
|4x100m relay||Larissa Pasternatsky (The University of Newcastle), Gabriella O’Grady (University of Technology Sydney), Jasmine Everett (The University of Notre Dame Australia), Elizabeth Hedding (The University of Melbourne), Michelle Jenneke (Reserve)|
|4x400m relay||Lora Storey, Alexandra Bartholomew (Macquarie University), Alicia Keir (The University of Newcastle), Jess Stafford (The University of Sydney), Gabriella O’Grady (Reserve)|
James Nipperess (5000m), Jack Bruce (1500m), Brianna Illarda, Nick Andrews (100m), Jordan Gusman (1500m), David Brock (Decathlon), Rachel Tallent (20km walk), Matthew Denny (Discus/Hammer) and Jenny Blundell (1500m/5000m) have all withdrawn from the team.