A strong contingent of New South Wales Institute of Sport (NSWIS) scholarship athletes has been named in the Australian team that will compete at the 2024 Oceania Athletics Championships in Suva, Fiji – and there’s more than medals at stake.

NSWIS Senior Athletics Coordinator, Michael Perry, said the meet, which involves up to 19 other nations and takes place from June 1-8 at Suva’s National Stadium, is the athletes’ chance to book their tickets to the 2024 Paris Games because of the points on offer.

The Oceania Championships enjoy the same status as the European Championships and offer world ranking points which are significant for athletes in gaining selection for either Olympic Games or World Championships.

“Doing well in these Championships can be the difference from making the Australian Olympic Team or not,” said Perry, who was Team Manager of the Australian team that competed in the recent World Para Athletics Championships in Japan. “So, there is a lot on the line for our athletes in Fiji.”

Sarah Carli competes in the women's hurdles at the world cup.
NSWIS scholarship athlete Sarah Carli will represent Australia at the Oceania Championships in Fiji

Mackenzie Little, who competed in the final for the javelin at the Tokyo Olympics and who won the bronze medal at last year’s world athletics championships, will be joined in Fiji by the Institute’s Tokyo Olympians Sarah Carli and Rohan Browning, as well as Josh Azzopardi and Sebastian Sultana who helped Australia’s 4 x 100m men’s relay team qualify for Paris, while Ella Connolly, who helped the women’s 4 x 100m relay team qualify for their first Olympics since the 2000 Sydney Games will also be competing.

Little, who qualified for Paris with her bronze medal throw, told Athletics Australia she’ll be using Fiji as an important part of her preparation for Paris.

“I want as much experience as possible amongst top level athletes before Paris, so a strong field is ideal!” said Little. “It’s a good combination of established talent as well as those looking to take advantage of huge bonus points up for grabs – so I know people will come out firing.”

“Controlling nerves and energy is something you can only practice in a championship environment, so it’ll be another valuable competition. It’s also going to be so fun over in Fiji!”

The following NSWIS athletes will compete in the Oceania Championships:

Ella Connolly (100m), Carley Thomas (800m), Sarah Carli (400mH), Erin Shaw (High Jump), Tomysha Clark (Long Jump), Sam Dale (Long Jump), Desleigh Owusu (Triple Jump), Mackenzie Little (Javelin), Lianna Davidson (Javelin), Sebastian Sultana (100 & 200m), Josh Azzopardi (100m), Rohan Browning (100m), Luke Boyes (800m), Jacob McCorry (110m), Liam Adcock (Long Jump), Connor Murphy (Triple Jump), Alex Kolesnikoff (Shot put), Cam McEntyre (Javelin).

Daniel Lane, NSWIS

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