The Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) has announced the first 14 track and field athletes to the Australian Olympic Team in Paris at the conclusion of the Australian Athletics Championships.

Olympic finalists Peter Bol and Matt Denny, former high jump World Champion Eleanor Patterson (a New South Wales Institute of Sport – NSWIS – scholarship athlete) and Rhydian Cowley have been selected for their third Australian Olympic Team, while Tokyo Olympic silver medallist Nicola Olyslagers (NSWIS), Olympic finalist Jessica Hull (NSWIS), World Championship silver medallist, Jemima Montag, Kyle Swan, Michelle Jenneke and Rebecca Henderson have made their second Games.

National 10,000m champion Lauren Ryan, 800m champion Claudia Hollingsworth, long jumper Chris Mitrevski and 800m runner Abbey Caldwell will all make their Games debut.

The selected athletes include multiple national record holders, with Matt Denny launching the discus 69.35 metres on Saturday, Nicola Olyslagers, Lauren Ryan, Jemima Montag and Jess Hull, who has set more than 20 national records since Tokyo 2020.

The 14 athletes are the first selected of an expected Athletics Team of more than 60 athletes, with further athlete selections for the marathon in May and the remainder after the close of the Paris 2024 qualification period in July.

Today’s selection takes the selected Australian Olympic Team size to 55 of an expected final team of 460 to 480 athletes.

Australian Olympic team Chef de Mission Anna Meares announced the athletes’ selection today, on track at the conclusion of the Australian Athletics Championships.

“Congratulations to these world-class athletes on their selection to the Australian Olympic Team for Paris,” Ms Meares said.

“This team features athletes who have medalled on the global stage and who have run faster, thrown further, and jumped higher than any other Australians in history.

Nicola Olyslagers Budapest

“Today’s selection is a chance to celebrate not only these remarkable athletes, but the coaches, supporters, family members, sport institutes and the team at Athletics Australia who help these athletes chase their Olympic dreams.

“This Australian Athletics team has a great camaraderie and I look forward to watching their continued progress towards Paris 2024.”

Queenslander Denny is relishing approaching his third Olympic Games in great form.

“The Olympics can either make or break athletes, I’ve always enjoyed the pressure that comes along with it, as well as the excitement,” Denny said. “This is the first time I’ve been so energetic about the Games this far out. I’m having dreams about it, I’m already so excited to see what we can do in Paris.

“It’s a relief to already have some great throws under my belt and lock in selection, so now my focus can be purely on locking in a throw that can win an Olympic final. Throwing the (national record) 69.35m yesterday felt good, it showed what we’re capable of, but I still have more in the tank.

“There’s a lot of build up to come, I have the experience of preparing for two Games, but this year I feel like I have the horsepower that can make a difference in creating a medal. I want to get to Paris and be the athlete I know I can be.”

Twenty-six-year-old Victorian Montag enters Paris full of confidence after winning silver at the 2023 World Athletics Championships.

“To qualify for my second Olympics is so special,” Montag said. “At my first Olympics I aimed for a top-10 finish and came sixth, but after last years’ silver medal at the World Championships, I know that I belong amongst the medals and that my team has the dedication and expertise to get me there.

“Paris will be that true Olympic experience I’ve dreamt of, to have my family on the sidelines will be special beyond words! To be able to head over to Europe and race against my competitors in the lead up will give me the confidence I was lacking in Tokyo.”

Montag paid tribute to her support team that helped her achieve her second Olympic Team selection.

“This simply doesn’t happen without them. Thank you for helping me overcome each obstacle, pulling apart the pieces and rearranging them to solve the puzzle, thank you for nurturing me from a self-doubt-ridden junior to a strong gritty senior.”

Olympian and Athletics Australia President Jane Flemming welcomed the announcement.

“Congratulations to each of these athletes on their selection to the Australian Olympic Team,” Flemming said.

“Having been born with some physical talent, it is incredibly admirable to see that these athletes have used that and maximised it, and justifiably rewarded with Olympic selection. Keep in mind what this means to your parents, the kids you went to school with and to those in your athletics club. It’s their journey too.

“This is what the Olympics is all about, it’s embracing the community through sport and we are so proud of our athletes who have done just that and wish them all the best in Paris.

Paris 2024 Australian Olympic Team – Athletics – First Announcement

NameEventAgeOlympic GamesSuburbStatePostcodeHometown
Peter Bol800m303rd (2016, 2020)MelbourneVIC3121Perth
Abbey Caldwell800m22*DebutWarrandyteVIC3113
Rhydian Cowley20km Walk333rd (2016, 2020)FawknerVIC3060
Matthew DennyDiscus Throw27*3rd (2016, 2020)TingalpaQLD4173Allora
Rebecca Henderson20km Walk22*2nd (2020)BerwickVIC3806
Claudia Hollingsworth800m,19DebutBlack RockVIC3193
Jessica Hull1500m272nd (2020)WollongongNSW2500
Michelle Jenneke100m Hurdles30*2nd (2016)BroadbeachQLD4218Sydney
Chris Mitrevski**Long Jump27*DebutKeilor DownsVIC3038
Jemima Montag20km Walk262nd (2020)MelbourneVIC3183
Nicola OlyslagersHigh Jump272nd (2020)TascottNSW2250
Eleanor PattersonHigh Jump27*3rd (2016, 2020)SydneyNSW2042Leongatha
Lauren Ryan10,000m26DebutBaltimore, MarylandUSAMelbourne
Kyle Swan20km Walk252nd (2020)Wantirna SouthVIC3152

Note all selections subject to normal appeal provisions as set out in nomination criteria.

*Will have birthday between selection date and Paris 2024

**Selection subject to World Athletics ratifying Paris 2024 qualification standard achieved this weekend at 2024 Australian Championships.

The Athletics competition will be held from 1-11 August. Track and Field events run 2-10 August in the Stade de France in Paris-Saint-Denis. Race walking and marathon will be held in the heart of Paris. The race walks at Trocadéro on 1 and 7 August, while the marathons men’s (10 August) and women’s (11 August) at Hôtel de Ville (Start) and Invalides (Finish).

Australia has competed in every Olympic athletics competition since 1896. There will be 48 events contested.

Story courtesy of Australian Olympic Team

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