MUAC athletes off to Oceania Area Championships

Good luck to all the MUAC athletes heading off Townsville for the 2019 Oceania Area Championships, a major stepping stone on the pathway to the 2019 IAAF World Championships in Doha and the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.

Event details including results and timetable.

Events will be broadcast, including on the Oceania Athletics FB page.

2019 Oceania Area Championships

Event previews

๐™ˆ๐™š๐™ฃโ€™๐™จ ๐™ƒ๐™ž๐™œ๐™ ๐™…๐™ช๐™ข๐™ฅ
๐˜–๐˜ค๐˜ฆ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ช๐˜ข ๐˜Š๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ฎ๐˜ฑ๐˜ช๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ๐˜ด๐˜ฉ๐˜ช๐˜ฑ ๐˜™๐˜ฆ๐˜ค๐˜ฐ๐˜ณ๐˜ฅ, 2.20๐˜ฎ ๐˜‘๐˜ฐ๐˜ด๐˜ฉ ๐˜๐˜ข๐˜ญ๐˜ญ (๐˜ˆ๐˜œ๐˜š) 2010.

The top six contenders all come from Australia and New Zealand. Leading the charge is Joel Baden (AUS) with a best of 2.30m. He is comfortably ahead of New Zealandโ€™s Hamish Kerr (2.25m), and Australiaโ€™s Grant Szalek (2.21m). Much interest surrounds the Commonwealth Games Champion, Brandon Starc (AUS) who a year ago won the Gold Coast gold with a height of 2.32m, and has since jumped 2.36m. His start to the year has been slow, but in May he jumped 2.25m. He is coming into form at the right time.

There is a group of Island athletes all around the 1.95m โ€“ 2.00m zone, and they will be having a competition of their own. They are Malakai Kaiwalu (FIJ – the Mini Games gold medal winner), Eldon Toti (PNG), Roland Hure (PNG), Peniel Richard (PNG), Teaue Teihotaata (PYF) and Tevita Finau (TGA).

โžก๏ธ DAY 2 @ 5:00pm

๐™’๐™ค๐™ข๐™š๐™ฃโ€™๐™จ ๐Ÿญ๐Ÿฑ๐Ÿฌ๐Ÿฌ๐—บ
๐˜–๐˜ค๐˜ฆ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ช๐˜ข ๐˜Š๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ฎ๐˜ฑ๐˜ช๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ๐˜ด๐˜ฉ๐˜ช๐˜ฑ ๐˜™๐˜ฆ๐˜ค๐˜ฐ๐˜ณ๐˜ฅ, 4:23.12 ๐˜“๐˜ฆ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ๐˜ต๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฆ ๐˜›๐˜ด๐˜ช๐˜ท๐˜ข (๐˜Š๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ๐˜จ๐˜ฐ) 2000.

With four athletes running sub-4:20, the Trans-Tasman rivalry looks set to continue. The best 2019 performance comes from Georgia Griffith (AUS โ€“ 4:05.39), followed by Katherine Camp (NZL โ€“ 4:15.14), Bernadette Williams (AUS โ€“ 4:15.25) and Sarah Billings (AUS โ€“ 4:16.10).

PNGโ€™s Poro Gahekave (4:47.30) and Jenny Albert (4:58.60) will try to keep Guamโ€™s Genina Criss (5:18.60) at bay. With no seed-time, the Solomon Islander, Sharon Firisua could easily upset the Islandersโ€™ competition. Sharon normally does well in the longer races, however.

โžก๏ธ DAY 2 @ 4:40 PM

๐™’๐™ค๐™ข๐™š๐™ฃโ€™๐™จ ๐Ÿด๐Ÿฌ๐Ÿฌ๐—บ
๐˜–๐˜ค๐˜ฆ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ช๐˜ข ๐˜Š๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ฎ๐˜ฑ๐˜ช๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ๐˜ด๐˜ฉ๐˜ช๐˜ฑ ๐˜™๐˜ฆ๐˜ค๐˜ฐ๐˜ณ๐˜ฅ, 2:05.38 ๐˜“๐˜ฆ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ๐˜ต๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฆ ๐˜›๐˜ด๐˜ช๐˜ท๐˜ข (๐˜™๐˜ฆ๐˜ฑ๐˜ถ๐˜ฃ๐˜ญ๐˜ช๐˜ค ๐˜ฐ๐˜ง ๐˜Š๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ๐˜จ๐˜ฐ) 2000.

Surprise revelation this year has been Catriona Bisset (AUS) who at the time of writing is ranked 6th in the world, with her stunning 1:59.78 at the Universitiesโ€™ Championships in Sydney in April. Needless to say she leads the Oceania Rankings, but she is pursued by evergreen Angela Petty (NZL โ€“ 2:01.26), Georgia Griffith (AUS โ€“ 2:01.26) and Morgan Mitchell (AUS โ€“ 2:01.60). Morgan has decided this year to move up to the 800m and it is starting to pay dividends.

The Islanders will mainly be represented by those from PNG, with Poro Gahekave (2:16.30), Donna Koniel (2:15.93 in Bangkok) and Jenny Albert (2:20.60) fighting for positions in the PNG starting line-up in Apia in July. Genina Criss from Guam has no seed-time, but she did win a medal in the 1500m in the Mini Games, so she has good credentials.

โžก๏ธ DAY 3 FINAL @ 4:15 PM

Athletics Australia Preview

A feature event will be the womenโ€™s 800m – an event in Australia with tremendous quality and depth. Could the national record (1:59.0) go in Townsville?

In a solo run a week after nationals Catriona Bisset became the first Australian under two minutes for 10 years running 1:59.78. What could she do with athletes near her? The two other Aussies and Kiwis make this a quality field. Last summer Georgia Griffith and Morgan Mitchell both ran 2:01 and look capable of going quicker according to recent form. New Zealanders Angie Petty and Katherine Camp, both clocked 2:02 last summer and are capable or more. Petty is a 1:59.06 athlete and Camp set her PB last summer. Some goals for the athletes are 2019 world championships standard 2:00.60 and Tokyo Olympic standard 1:59.50.


The six Australian representatives in the 10,000m track walk at next weekโ€™s Oceania Championships highlight a number of new emerging and talented race walkers in Australia. Our group is headed by our three already selected for the Doha World Championships Dane Bird-Smith, Jemima Montag and teenager Katie Hayward, along with Rio Olympian Rachel Talent. Hayward has been outstanding in 2018/19, as the 18-year-old has broken a number of Australian under-20 records and clocked the third best 20km walk time in Australian history. The other two in the menโ€™s race is teenager Declan Tingay and Rhydian Cowley. Declan, was a brilliant fourth at the World U20 Championships and has also broken Australian junior records in the last year.

Maybe going under the radar has been the great progression of 28-year-old Rhydian Cowley in the last three months. After making eight appearances in the green and gold at the highest levels, including Olympics and world championships, this year Cowley has been in great form with two times of 1:20.19 and 1:21.02. His new PB, which elevated him to number 7 Australian all-time, has not only qualified him for the Doha World Championships, but also the Tokyo Olympics.

Rhydian credits a change in focus, a good period of training and a move to Brent Vallanceโ€™s squad as key to his recent progression.
โ€œIt’s hard to pinpoint exactly what makes the most difference, but I think my last 12 months training having been some of the most consistent I’ve managed is probably a factor. I think my change in coaching environment at the end of last year has also made a difference, getting regular training sessions in with a good group of athletes including Jemima Montag, Quentin Rew (NZL) and Kyle Swan. And I’ve been focusing on having fun and enjoying my athletics a bit more in this last year, which I think also helps.โ€