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Nearly 2000 athletes will gather at Eugene, Oregon’s Hayward Field for the 2022 World Athletics Championships starting July 15.
Athletics Australia is sending a strong team to compete at the 18th event. Four athletes who may compete for a medal specialise in the 1500m distance Jessica Hull, Linden Hall, Oliver Hoare, and Stewart McSWeyn. Also, Peter Bol in the 800m will be interesting to watch.
Jessica Hull and Linden Hall
Jessica Hull is one of the lead athletes ready to take on the world in two events, the 1500-metre and 5000m distances. The 25-year-old, Pete Julien-coached athlete based in Oregon has run the 1500m as fast as 3:58.81, which is the Australian and Oceania record. Her 5000m personal best is 14:43.80, also the national record of the four records that she owns in outdoor track. She owns three more indoor records.
Her best chance is in the 1500m event. Hull is ranked 12th in the world and is expected to make the final, where anything can and usually does happen. It is likely that no one can beat Kenyan Faith Kipyegon who owns two Olympic gold medals and one World Championships gold in the event. She owns the Kenyan national record at 3:51.07. Netherlands athlete Sifan Hassan may be the one to usurp Kipyegon, depending on her fitness, however, little has been heard from her since she dropped jaws with her Tokyo Olympic performances winning two gold medals in the 5000m and 10,000m and a bronze in the 1500m.
Linden Hall, having finished sixth in Tokyo is just as much of a threat. Her best may be a second slower, but tactics can very much dictate at the global competition level as he demonstrated last summer. The 31-year-old owns a best of 3:59.01.
Hull had discovered a track and field mecca, like a church for those who preach athletics, and after signing the dotted line in 2015 – she had found a home @OregonTF.@jessicahull143 is headed down the road for @WCHoregon22 🇦🇺🦘— Athletics Australia (@AthsAust) July 7, 2022
At least one of the athletes ranked above her on the World Athletics global ranking system, Canada’s Gabriela DeBues-Stafford, is out with an injury. Hull has a chance if her tactics are flawless.
Oliver Hoare and Stewart McSweyn
The best chances for a medal among the Australian men may be between Oliver Hoare and Stewart McSweyn. Although they have demonstrated the ability to run with the best in the 1500m event, it is the final 200m where these athletes need to improve for a chance at a medal.
McSweyn is ranked fourth in the world at this time. Predictably, this gets him into the final and a legitimate chance at a medal. The 27-year-old finished seventh in Tokyo, so he has top international experience. His personal best over the distance is 3:29.51 from 2021. The only concern was that during the Stockholm Diamond League meet he led the middle part of the races, but was outkicked by three athletes. Tactically, he may want to break out whatever kick he may possess not from a lead position.
Hoare is ranked one back on the global list. His best may be 3:32.66 more than three seconds back of his compatriot, the 25-year-old owns the national and Oceania record for the mile at 3:47.48, which is considered a better performance than his 1500m best. Expect him to run sub-3:30 in the future, perhaps that will happen in Eugene next week.
A key issue for McSweyn may be some apparent breathing issues that may have been caused by a Covid shot.
Norway’s Jakob Ingebrigsten is unlikely to be beaten in Eugene. He is ranked number one for good reason. The 21-year-old is the defending Olympic champion and owns a best of 3:28.32, which is the Norwegian and European record. If someone is to beat Ingebrigtsen it will be a performance by East Africans Timothy Cheruiyot or Abel Kipsang and it will likely come from some serious kick over the final 200m.
Not to be missed is 28-year-old 800m runner, Nagmeldin Peter Bol, who owns a best of 1:44.00 and competed very well in Tokyo finishing in fourth place. He is the national and Oceania record holder. Of all the events in athletics, perhaps the 800m final is the most competitive and difficult to predict. Bol could finish first, or not even make the final — it is one of the most exciting events to watch.
Interestingly Kelly Ruddick is 49 years old and will compete in the 35K racewalk. She is the oldest to compete in the World Championships. Currently, women over 40 are competing well in the marathon distance. Perhaps Ruddick will continue to shape perspectives on age, with a strong performance.
Canada’s Marco Arop on July 3rd ran a near personal best at 1:43.61 in Edmonton to set the tone leading to the championships. The 23-year-old’s best is 1:43.26. Kenya’s Ferguson Rotich will be tough to beat. The 32-year-old owns a best of 1:42.54 and earned silver in Tokyo. However, currently, ranked number one is Emmanuel Korir of Kenya, he is the Olympic champion from Tokyo and owns a best of 1:42.05.
The Australian Team for the 2022 World Athletics Championships
100m Bree Masters
200m Jacinta Beecher, Ella Connolly
800m Catriona Bisset, Tess Kirsopp-Cole, Claudia Hollingsworth
1500m Georgia Griffith, Linden Hall, Jessica Hull
5000m Natalie Rule, Rose Davies, Jessica Hull
Marathon Sarah Klein
100m Hurdles Liz Clay, Celeste Mucci, Michelle Jenneke
400m Hurdles Sarah Carli
3000m Steeplechase Brielle Erbacher, Amy Cashin, Cara Feain-Ryan
20km Walk Jemima Montag, Rebecca Henderson
35km Walk Kelly Ruddick
High Jump Nicola Olyslagers, Eleanor Patterson
Pole Vault Nina Kennedy
Long Jump Brooke Buschkuehl, Samantha Dale
Hammer Throw Alexandra Hulley
Javelin Throw Kelsey-Lee Barber, Mackenzie Little, Kathryn Mitchell.
100m Rohan Browning, Jake Doran
200m Aidan Murphy, Calab Law
400m Steven Solomon, Alex Beck
800m Nagmeldin Peter Bol, Joseph Deng
1500m Oliver Hoare, Stewart McSweyn, Matthew Ramsden
5000m Ky Robinson, Matthew Ramsden, Jack Rayner
10000m Jack Rayner
110m Hurdles Nick Hough, Chris Douglas
3000m Steeplechase Ed Trippas, Ben Buckingham
20km Walk Kyle Swan, Declan Tingay, Rhydian Cowley
35km Walk Rhydian Cowley, Carl Gibbons
High Jump Brandon Starc, Joel Baden, Yual Reath
Pole Vault Kurtis Marschall
Long Jump Chris Mitreveski, Henry Frayne
Discus Throw Matthew Denny
Javelin Throw Cameron McEntyre, Cruz Hogan
Decathlon Cedric Dubler, Ash Moloney, Daniel Golubovic
All details on the Eugene World Athletics Championships are available here>>