Track and Field with Valmai Loomes

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The second part of the summer season of 2020/2021 will start with a bang, and it will be on our home ground, the Kerryn McCann Athletics Centre here in the Gong, on Saturday, January 16.

The very popular Illawarra Track Challenge is expected to draw athletes from all clubs, with the state men's and women's 60 metres titles up for grabs, plus the state one mile championships for both men and women.

Defending champion in the Women's Kings Sports 60 metres, Abbie Taddeo, is expected to defend her title but admits there are a lot of other athletes out there that have a very good chance. Fast out of the blocks, Taddeo has shown over the many years that she has won this title that she is one of the quickest over this short distance, and will certainly be a force again on January 16.

The open men's 60 metres is also going to be a fast race, with many sprinters in the line-up to take the title away from defending champion, Campbelltown's Anas Abu-Ganada. Anas will be like Taddeo, very hard to beat, as his speed over the short distance is one of the best. His recent performances over the 100, 200 and 400 metres indicates he is in form, so trying to take the title away from him is going to need a classy 60 metres.

The state medals will also be up for the younger athletes, both men and women, in under 14, under 16, under 18, under 20 and the major two over this distance will be the opens.

Masters athletes will be catered for over this distance also, with the Blue Star medal on offering for masters in 10 year age brackets, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, and 60 plus, both men and women.

The state mile championships are expected to be another drawcard, with many of the middle distance athletes already taking on major mile races prior to this state title event. Many are on form to present thrilling mile races in both men and women.

Under 20 athletes will also be vying for the state title as with masters 35 plus, in men and women.

Hosted by Illawarra Blue Stars in conjunction with Athletics NSW, this event is expected to be yet another success and the club would like to thank our major sponsors, Kings Sports Store, Bing Lee Shellharbour and Simon Hull Tiling.

Supporting events are also expected to draw good fields, and from previous years, the event has given athletes the chance to qualify for major meets such as Olympics, Commonwealth Games and World championships. Open to all ages and graded on prior performances, there will be 100 metres, 400 metres, 3km, hammer, javelin and long jump for both men and women, the ideal way to have good competition prior to country and state titles.

Entries are to be lodged through Athletics NSW for both the state title events (60 metres and I mile) and the supporting events. No late entries will be taken.

COMING EVENTS:

Sunday, January 10: Back to track and field for IBS members Kerryn McCann Athletics Centre, 2pm for 2.30 start first events; Round 2.

January 29-31: NSW Country titles, to be held Mingara, entries through Athletics NSW website, last chance to book IBS accommodation this Sunday at club meet, otherwise plenty of accommodation available to book yourself in Mingara and surrounding areas. Great titles, only open to country registered members, age brackets from 10yrs right through to masters men and women. One of the best title events conducted, enter now and represent your club IBS at this popular event.