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London here we come!

Saturday, 8 July 2017 | Cody Lynch

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London is calling for Team Australia, with the 37-strong squad making their way to the 2017 World Para-Athletics Championships from airports across the nation overnight.

Marking the return of competition to the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park after the resounding success of the 2012 Paralympic Games, the green and gold, including roommates Claire Keefer (F41, Qld) and Isis Holt (T35, Vic), are eager to take to the field of play from next Friday, 14 July.

“Travelling with the Australian team is something I love, we have such a great atmosphere. There are a couple of newbie throwers with me this time around and I’m sure they are going to make it even better. We’re a close bunch,” Keefer, a short-statured thrower and Rio 2016 Paralympian, said.

“Isis and I are going to be ‘roomies’. We were together for the first time in Rio, things went well and we’ve managed to sneak it through again. We have mastered knowing when we need our own Netflix time and no doubt that chance to unwind will happen in London, too.”

“Come competition day, I’m on the hunt for a personal best and we’ll see where that takes me. You have to perform on the day first so that’s what I want to do.”

“I’m so excited. Doha was great, and Rio was my first Paralympics, but to compete at the same venue as the Games of 2012 is going to be awesome,” Holt, the reigning T35 100m and 200m world champion, said.

“We don’t have a relay at this stage and I’m looking forward to just focusing on my individual events. I’m not entirely sure how I will go, I think that makes it a bit more interesting, but I’m growing in confidence after recovering from being a bit unwell these past few weeks. I’m back on track.”

Determined to continue the form that saw them win 26 medals (three gold, nine silver, 14 bronze) at Rio 2016, Team Australia includes Paralympic Games gold medallists James Turner (T36, NSW), Scott Reardon (T42, ACT) and Brayden Davidson (T36, SA) and reigning world champions Todd Hodgetts (F20, Tas), Madison de Rozario (T53, NSW), Angela Ballard (T53, NSW) and Holt.

It also welcomes four debutants, with Cameron Crombie (F38, ACT), Martin Jackson (F38, Vic), Daniel Kirk (F44, SA) and Sarah Edmiston (F44, WA) all to take to the thrower’s circle in national colours for the first time.

Athletics Australia Paralympic Program Manager and Team Australia Leader, Andrew Faichney, is looking forward to competition returning to the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

“To return to London is very exciting. Many of the athletes on this team experienced the wonder of the Paralympic Games there and to return to such an impressive stadium is something that we’re all looking forward to. The British public have embraced para-athletics and we’re expecting an electric atmosphere,” Faichney said.

Descending on London (GBR) after an excellent preparation, Team Australia is capable of a performance that rivals recent performances from Rio 2016 and the 2015 World Para-Athletic Championships (22 medals).

“Our team is brimming with confidence. We’ve had a sound preparation, many athletes have excelled at pre-championships competition, and we are confident of a strong performance. We won 26 medals in Rio last year and our hope is to rival that performance in the days ahead,” Faichney added.

“Tokyo 2020 seems so far away but it is already in the back of our minds. Despite being only the first major championship of the four-year Paralympic cycle, we are approaching it very seriously as results here will set the tone for the years ahead.

“A number of these athletes are also in the mix for the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games next year and continued improvement from them is vital as a major competition at home approaches.”

TEAM AUSTRALIA:

Men (22):
100m: Brayden Davidson (T36, SA), Rheed McCracken (T34, Qld), Sam McIntosh (T52, Vic), Evan O’Hanlon (T38, ACT), Chad Perris (T13, ACT), Scott Reardon (T42, ACT)
200m: Rheed McCracken (T34, Qld), Chad Perris (T13, ACT), James Turner (T36, NSW)
400m: Jake Lappin (T54, ACT), Sam McIntosh (T52, Vic), James Turner (T36, NSW)
800m: Deon Kenzie (T38, Tas), Jake Lappin (T54, ACT), Rheed McCracken (T34, Qld), James Turner (T36, NSW)
1500m: Jaryd Clifford (T12, Vic), Kurt Fearnley (T54, NSW), Deon Kenzie (T38, Tas), Jake Lappin (T54, ACT), Michael Roeger (T46, ACT)
5000m: Kurt Fearnley (T54, NSW), Jake Lappin (T54, 5000m)
Long Jump: Brayden Davidson (T36, SA), Nicholas Hum (T20, Vic)
High Jump: Aaron Chatman (T47, Qld)
Shot Put: Cameron Crombie (F38, ACT), Todd Hodgetts (F20, Tas), Martin Jackson (F38, Vic), Russell Short (F12, Vic), Jessee Wyatt (F33, Vic)
Discus Throw: Guy Henly (F37, NSW), Daniel Kirk (F44, SA), Russell Short (F12, Vic)
Javelin: Cameron Crombie (F38, ACT), Jayden Sawyer (F38, ACT)

Women (15):
100m: Angela Ballard (T53, NSW), Brianna Coop (T35, Qld), Erin Cleaver (T38, NSW), Isis Holt (T35, Vic), Ella Pardy (T38, WA), Carly Salmon (T35, NSW)
200m: Angela Ballard (T53, NSW), Torita Blake (T38, Qld), Brianna Coop (T35, Qld), Isis Holt (T35, Vic), Ella Pardy (T38, WA), Carly Salmon (T35, NSW)
400m: Angela Ballard (T53, NSW), Torita Blake (T38, Qld), Jemima Moore (T54, ACT)
800m: Angela Ballard (T53, NSW), Madison de Rozario (T53, NSW), Jemima Moore (T54, ACT)
1500m: Angela Ballard (T53, NSW), Jemima Moore (T54, ACT)
5000m: Madison de Rozario (T53, NSW)
Long Jump: Erin Cleaver (T38, NSW), Sarah Walsh (T44, NSW)
Shot Put: Sarah Edmiston (F44, WA), Louise Ellery (F33, ACT), Claire Keefer (F41, Qld), Brydee Moore (F33, Vic)
Discus Throw: Rae Anderson (F37, NSW), Sarah Edmiston (F44, WA)
Javelin: Rae Anderson (F37, NSW)

Athletics Australia
Athletics House
Level 2, 31 Aughtie Drive
Albert Park  VIC 3206

P +61 3 8646 4550
F +61 3 8646 4560
E athletics@athletics.org.au