© Copyright – 2024 – Athletics Illustrated

Claudia Hollingsworth, at just 19 years old won the final of the Australian Athletics Championship race in the time of 1:58.40.

In her wake, three more shattered the two-minute barrier. The Craig Mottram-coached athlete bettered a strong field including World Championships semi-finalist Abbey Caldwell.

The performance is an Australian junior (U20) national record. Shades of Athing Mu and Keely Hodgkinson who went 1-2 in the Tokyo Olympic Games at age 19.

“Before I was super nervous and throughout the race there wasn’t really one point where I felt relaxed. I was quite a way back but I just trusted my back end speed and ability,” Hollingsworth said.

“My [19th] birthday was actually on Friday so that was a bit of a nothing day, I was just sitting at home all day getting nervous! Today is definitely a big birthday present.”

Taking second place, was Caldwell in the time of 1:59.01 in a season-best time. Finishing in third position was Bendere Oboya in 1:59.33.

For Hollingsworth, the win and record come just one week after her new 1500m personal best of 4:02.96 set at the Hagenauer Reserve, Box Hill, meet in Melbourne. Both performances are not just Australian junior records, but also, area or Oceania records.

The Mentone, Vic native is having a terrific season having set personal bests at the Maurie Plant Meet in Melbourne in 1:59.81, followed by the Canberra Track Classic in 1:58.81 and now the championships.

Paris Olympic qualification standard for the 800m event is 1:59.30 and for the 1500m 4:02.50. Qualification is weighted equally between running faster than the standard and being ranked globally. The International Olympic Committee’s quota is 48 women and 48 men in the 800m and 45 in the 1500m. The strong of performances and the Australian Championship win will greatly improve Hollingsworth’s ranking.

Coming into the meet fellow Australians Catriona Bissett, who finished fourth in the meet is ranked seventh and Abbey Caldwell (20th).

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.