Starc to contest high jump at world champs

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    Rising star Brandon Starc will give Australia a presence in the men’s high jump at a major athletics championships for the first time in 13 years after breaking into the team for the world titles in Moscow in August.

    The younger brother of Test cricketer Mitchell Starc won his first national title on Saturday, adding 5cm to his personal best with a clearance of 2.28m.

    It ensured he would be among the 25 Australians named Wednesday in a preliminary squad of 25 which could grow to 60 in time for the August 10-18 world championships.

    Starc’s rapid improvement ends a barren run for Australia in the men’s high jump following the retirement of Olympic and world championships bronze medallist Tim Forsyth after the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

    “I’m lost for words with the PB and the national title,” said the 19-year-old Starc.

    “I knew I was capable of it because I’ve been jumping well this season.”

    “It means a lot to make the team, not just for me but for my whole support crew.

    “Last year I didn’t do as well as I wanted at the world juniors so that pushed me a bit more.”

    Starc was one of nine Australians to force their way onto the team by virtue of their individual performances at last weekend’s national championships in Sydney, along with 800m runner Kelly Hetherington, sprinter Josh Ross and javelin thrower Kim Mickle.

    The likes of reigning world and Olympic 100m hurdles champion Sally Pearson and London Games medallists Mitchell Watt (long jump) and Jared Tallent (50km walk) were pre-selected.

    Sprinter Melissa Breen and 2009 discus world champion Dani Samuels missed the trials due to injury, but will be added to the squad once they return to full fitness.

    Collis Birmingham’s recent eighth-place finish at the world cross country championships will also earn him a start in the 5000m or 10,000m in Moscow.

    Other athletes have until late July to meet the selection criteria for a team which head selector Dion Russell believes could top 60 athletes if all four relay squads make the cut.

    Australia won three medals and finished eighth on the overall medals table at the 2011 world championships in Daegu, South Korea.

    © AAP 2018

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    The Crowd Says (3)

    • April 18th 2013 @ 10:10am
      jameswm said | April 18th 2013 @ 10:10am | ! Report

      Talented family!

      Mitchell Starc runs in like a high jumper, with those long, loping, boundy strides.

      I wonder if Steve Solomon got -reselected too.

      On the off chance that anyone reads this article or my comment, or cares, these are the 25 who got selected:

      MEN (16)
      Julian Wruck (Qld, discus throw)
      Tristan Thomas (Tas, 400mH),
      Brandon Starc (NSW, high jump)
      Josh Ross (Vic, 200m).
      Tim Leathart (NSW, 100 + 4×100 relay)
      Jarrod Geddes (NSW, 100 + 4×100 relay)
      Alex Beck (Qld, 400 + 4×400 relay),
      Ben Offereins (WA, 400 + 4×400 relay)
      Joshua Ralph (NSW, 400 + 4×400 relay)
      Collis Birmingham (Vic, 10,000m)
      Mitchell Watt (Qld, long jump),
      Jared Tallent (Vic, 50km walk),
      Steven Solomon (NSW, 400m),
      Luke Adams (NSW, 50km walk)
      Scott Westcott (NSW, marathon)
      Michael Shelley (Qld, marathon),

      WOMEN (12)
      Melissa Breen (Qld, 100)
      Dani Samuels (NSW, discus)
      Kim Mickle (WA, javelin),
      Alana Boyd (Qld, pole vault),
      Lauren Boden (ACT, 400mH),
      Zoe Buckman (ACT, 1500m),
      Kelly Hetherington (Vic, 800m),
      Sally Pearson (Qld, 100mH),
      Lisa Weightman (Vic, marathon)
      Jane Fardell (NSW, marathon),
      Lauren Shelley (WA, marathon)
      Lara Tamsett (NSW, 10,000m)
      Note if 4×400 and 4×100 relay teams qualify, then add
      Ashleigh Whittaker (Vic, 4x100m),
      Margaret Gayen (SA, 4x100m),
      Angela Byrt (Vic, 4x100m),
      Caitlin Sargent (Qld, 4x400m),
      Anneliese Rubie (NSW, 4x400m),
      Jacinta Doyle (Qld, 4x400m)

    • April 18th 2013 @ 12:17pm
      Mark said | April 18th 2013 @ 12:17pm | ! Report

      Yay! A writeup on athletics. Well done John and James. Yes I have read the article and comments and I care!

      Good to see the Aussies looking to take a large squad to the Moscow World Champs.

      I was out at the Nationals last Saturday. It was an excellent afternoon/evening. Shame no-one in Sydney knew it was on.
      Gen LaCaze blitzed it in the 3000m steeplechase – hopefully she can qualify too.
      Both Wruck and Starc were very impressive and Josh Ross sprint double outstanding.

      Just can’t get my head around Track & Field in this country Large participation at junior level through schoos and Little Athletics etc. And come Olympics it is THE event – packed stadiums, huge interest and coverage. Yet here is Aus, the sport hardly rates a mention (although credit to 9 network who are showing highlights of the Nationals this Sunday afternoon). In fact in last Monday’s Sydney Morning Herald, I could not find one mention of the Nationals, not even the results! I have been told however that it was printed in other editions of the paper, whatever that means.

      • April 19th 2013 @ 12:47pm
        jameswm said | April 19th 2013 @ 12:47pm | ! Report

        Agreed. I had thought of going to watch Nationals, but doubt I would have got a pass out for that. Fortunately my second son (now 8) also likes it, so that could be 3 of us going to watch. We went to the Sydney Track Classic, which was great. The boys loved watching the pole vault up close.

        It’s on Foxtel maybe next Wed night, by the way.

        Yes – Little As is huge in terms of kids participation, but it doesn’t filter through to the Seniors. They don’t have the support or talent identification programs that league, AFL etc do. Nor the prospect of earnings. That prospect of earnings is a bit of a joke, because very few (even in the Academies) actually make it.

        There’s just no money in the sport, though there is a decent smattering of good tracks around. Some of the private schools are putting together good athletics programs, so this could help take some of the good young teens through to the 18/19s, and from there they can launch at Seniors.

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