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Thursday, 11 June 2015 | Athletics Australia



Buoyed by podium finishes at three consecutive instalments of the IAAF Diamond League, the Commonwealth champion Dani Samuels (NSW) has arrived home in Australia to continue her preparation for the IAAF World Championships.

Set to train on the Gold Coast (Qld) for the next three weeks before returning to Europe for a further two hit-outs ahead of the Australian Flame team camp in Wakayama (JPN), Samuels, who has the Australian discus record of 68.72m in her sights, is excited by her season to date and looking forward to a solid stint of hard training as Beijing 2015 draws closer.

“I’m pretty happy with my international season to this point as there have been a lot of positive aspects to take from it. My aim is to place in the top three in all my international competitions this year, competing at a consistently high level,” Samuels said.

“I started off with a competition in Germany in May and have been getting better since then in terms of distance, placing and consistency. Throwing my best mark in the first round is also something I’ve been happy with at the past two competitions. It is good practice for what I will have to be able to do at the World Championships later this year.”

“There is still a lot of hard work to do between now and Beijing. I am back in Australia for a little over three weeks and then I head back to Europe for the last two Diamond League events prior to the World Championships. I am excited for this block of really hard work because with the international travel coming up I will lose a few days and need to get it done now. I’m happy to be back home too.”

Samuels’ recent form suggests that she is arguably one of Australia’s best chances at Beijing 2015, but the attention is not a concern for the 27-year-old. She is a seasoned campaigner at major competitions, advancing to the Olympic final twice and becoming the youngest ever to win the world discus title in 2009.

“I haven’t really thought about what other people expect of me at the World Championships, I’m just focusing on training and competition as it comes and what I can do about improving each day. I feel like I am in a good place both physically and mentally and I just want to continue to work my butt off and enjoy my throwing. I know through experience that I have produced good throws when I’m having fun, so I’m going to continue to do that whilst aiming to be one of the best in the world,” Samuels added.

The international season rolls on in the coming days, however, with Oslo (NOR) and New York (USA) to play host to IAAF Diamond League events in the coming days. A middle distance running sextet including national record holder Ryan Gregson (Vic) will start in the Norwegian capital, while Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Hamish Peacock (Tas) headlines green and gold starters in the Big Apple.

On Sunday in Rabat (MAR), Fabrice Lapierre (NSW) will take to the runway in the men’s long jump, while Michelle Jenneke (NSW) will compete in the 100m hurdles in Brisbane (Qld) alongside the Australian team for the IAAF World Youth Championships, including Jack Hale (Tas), Louis Stenmark (NSW), Ned Weatherly (Vic), Danielle Shaw (Vic) and Clare Gibson (WA).

Lapierre is enjoying a strong return to form, opening his international season with an IAAF World Championships qualifier last month and soaring 8.21m to win in Marseille (FRA) last weekend.

Alana Boyd (Qld), Nina Kennedy (WA) and Liz Parnov (WA) will all open their international campaigns at the Bauhaus Gala in Mannheim (GER) later this month.

June 10-13: 2015 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships – Eugene (USA)
For more information on this event, please click here.

June 11: IAAF Diamond League (Round 6) – Oslo (NOR)
800m: Kelly Hetherington (Vic)
1500m: Zoe Buckman (Vic), Melissa Duncan (Vic), Selma Kajan (NSW), James Hansen (Tas)
Mile: Ryan Gregson (Vic)

For more information on the IAAF Diamond League, including entry lists and event timetables, please click here.

June 12: American Milers High Performance Meet – Indianapolis (USA)
1500m: Hugh Nicklason (Tas)

June 13: IAAF Diamond League (Round 7) – New York (USA)
3000m steeplechase: Genevieve LaCaze (Vic)
Javelin: Hamish Peacock (Tas)

For more information on the IAAF Diamond League, including entry lists and event timetables, please click here.

June 14: Meeting International Mohammed VI d’Athlétisme – Rabat (MAR)
800m: Selma Kajan (NSW)
Long Jump: Fabrice Lapierre (NSW) 

June 14: Portland Track Festival – Portland (USA)
5000m: David McNeill (Vic)

June 14: City of London Road Mile – London (GBR)
Mile: Zoe Buckman (Vic), Collis Birmingham (Vic)

June 14: Queensland Athletics Winter Track & Field Meet – Brisbane (AUS)
100m hurdles: Michelle Jenneke (NSW) 

The Australian team for the IAAF World Youth Championships, including Jack Hale (Tas), Louis Stenmark (NSW), Ned Weatherly (Vic), Danielle Shaw (Vic) and Clare Gibson (WA), will also compete at this event as part of their pre-departure camp for Cali 2015.

June 25: Sollentuna GP – Sollentuna (SWE)
800m: Alex Rowe (Vic), Jordan Williamsz (Vic)
1500m: Sam McEntee (WA)
Javelin: Kelsey-Lee Roberts (ACT)

June 27: Bauhaus Gala – Mannheim (GER)
Pole vault: Alana Boyd (Qld), Nina Kennedy (WA), Liz Parnov (WA)

June 27: International Meeting di Nivelles – Nivelles (BEL)
800m: Joshua Ralph (NSW)
1500m: Melissa Duncan (Vic), Brittany McGowan (Qld)

June 27: British Milers’ Club – Watford (GBR)
800m: Luke Mathews (Vic)

June 28: Finnish Athletics Carnival – Pihtipudas – (FIN)
Javelin: Kelsey-Lee Roberts (ACT)

June 28: Downunder Meet – Gold Coast (AUS)
Long Jump: Brooke Stratton (Vic)

June 30: 20th European Athletics Classic – Velenje (SLO)
200m: Ella Nelson (NSW)

July 4: IAAF Diamond League (Round 8) – Paris (FRA)
Pole Vault: Alana Boyd (Qld)
Javelin: Kim Mickle (WA)

For more information on the IAAF Diamond League, including entry lists and event timetables, please click here.

July 5: Gold Coast Airport Marathon – Gold Coast (AUS)
Half-marathon: Eloise Wellings (NSW), Ben St Lawrence (NSW)

The IAAF Diamond League is back in 2015 and Australian athletics fans can enjoy the stunning performances of the world's best athletes once again by tuning in to the

LIVE coverage of the renowned global series only on EUROSPORT (Foxtel Channel 511).

For all athletics news and info on Eurosport, please click here.

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