Athletics Wollongong

The final wash-up from the World Para Athletics Championships was that Australia finished 5th with 28 medals, 11 of which were gold, three belonging to James Turner.

James joined the privileged ranks of the elite few who have won three gold at World Para Championships. Australia was behind China, the USA, Great Britain and the Ukraine. The Australian team placed four positions higher than the last Championships in Doha in 2015.

The London venue is currently the stage for the epic IAAF World Athletics Championships. Athletics is a strange sport in the way athletes react to each other. Many are great friends. But when these friends crouch beside each other on a track, that friendship temporarily and dramatically ends.

At the completion of the race, it is like a switch was turned on and it is all embraces and congratulations as though the race never really happened.  We just saw an example of this recently.

In the current IAAF World Athletics Championships in London, that great wizard of the track Usain Bold had his last championships 100m gold medal chance torpedoed by his great friend but convicted drug cheat Justin Gatlin and a new young rising star Christian Coleman.

Despite the very vocal booing from the crowd, the great man went over to Gatlin, hugged him and congratulated him on his win. That is the signature of a great person.  

Australia has fielded a team of 33 women and 29 men in these championships. To follow the Australian teams efforts check the, Athletics Australia website (Athletics.com.au) or follow links on the Eurosport.com. site. 

Closer to home, three of our junior ladies competed in the farewell meet at Campbelltown for the Australian team.

Closer to home, three of our junior ladies competed in the farewell meet at Campbelltown for the Australian team. Rosie Tozer, 15, Tiarn Vernon, 17, and Leila Christophides, 14, competed in a number of open class events against some of the London-bound athletes and other open class Australian athletes.

The best of their results were: Leila 2nd in the 90m Open Women hurdles; Tiarn 4th in the Open Women 100m hurdles and 5th in the Open Women long jump, and Rosie rocked with a well deserved first in the Open Women's high jump.

The last year Wollongong saw the running of the NSW Country Championships was 2014. This major event involving hundreds of country NSW athletes will again feature in Wollongong from January 26-28, 2018.

Bringing this event to Wollongong was due to the considerable efforts of Wollongong City Council, Athletics NSW and a local committee consisting of members from Athletics Wollongong, Illawarra Blue Stars, Wollongong Little Athletics, Nowra Athletics and Kembla Joggers.

This event will be a great opportunity for local supporters to give our local athletes a vocal boost on their way to gold.

 Website  www.aw.org.au  and on Facebook.

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