MUAC three fly in Fiji

2017 Oceania Athletics Championships

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The 2017 Oceania Athletics Area Championships in Fiji provided the opportunity for three MUAC athletes to make their debut in Green and Gold. Kat Iannello, Kate Abfalter and Nick Masini all medalled in their events which were held at ANZ Stadium in Suva. Here is a snapshot of their experience.

Katherine Iannello (Open Pole Vault – Silver)

For me, representing Australia had the most significance over anything else. Going out there to compete in that uniform is something I’ve wanted from a very young age. I was overwhelmed by the support I had, especially so many people watching at home. I was really happy with my preparation leading up to the event and then performing the best I ever have at a major competition. Having Warren tell me before going into the call room he was leaving me make all the decisions on which heights to take gave me confidence and made me feel proud that I was at this stage with my vaulting. It was fantastic to be able to show my family and friends that this is what I do and why I plan most things, including what I eat, around my training schedule – something that others find difficult to understand. It was interesting to get a bit of an insight into how others train and the politics that come with any sport. It was really uplifting to prove that with hard work, commitment, persistence and belief that you might not be the be athlete, technically or otherwise, but you can achieve your goals or at the very least know you’ve left no stone unturned to work towards them.

Kate Abfalter (U20 Pole Vault – Gold, U20 3000m Steeplechase – Silver)

I really enjoyed the opportunity of travelling overseas with the team and while it wasn’t quite what I was expecting I am glad that I was able to experience what it is like as an athlete to travel and to face challenges that you may not necessarily think you would face, and thankfully overcome them. It was great to meet so many other people that are as passionate about athletics as I am and to hear about their journey because sometimes as an athlete you find that people that do not do sport at a high level often struggle to understand what you go through to get to the level that you are at, so being able to talk to others who have experienced similar things was really reassuring as much as anything else. Of course I really enjoyed being able to compete at such a high level of competition but for me with the lead up that I had, being concussed and not being able to train properly for 3 weeks prior. Just being able to compete was amazing and then to do as well as I did was just a bonus. While I may not have been close to my all-time PB’s in either of my events for me on that day, under those conditions it was the best I could have done and while that’s really hard to accept sometimes as an athlete, I am really happy with what I have accomplished and am looking forwards to whatever the future holds.

Nick Masini (U20 Pole Vault – Silver)

Going to Fiji and competing for Australia for the first time was an amazing experience. the Atmosphere that was upheld within the venue the entire competition was incredible. Meeting and seeing so many like minded people who are passionate for their sports as much as we were was amazing. Although the competition itself could have run a lot smoother, being held in the call room because the other athletes in my competition hadn’t shown up yet was really concerning, while the other athletes competing at the same time were allowed to go and warm up, induces a level of stress that sometimes cannot be shaken. None the less i was super happy with how it all went and stoked to have finished second in my first international competition which would not have been possible without the support from family, friends and of course Warren and the rest of the Pole Vault crew. I am now really excited to see how far the sport will take me.

2017 Oceania Athletics Championships