15 track and field have been selected to the Australian Olympic Team at the conclusion of the Australian Athletics Championships in Sydney, including four from the NSW Institute of Sport.
The selections come off the back of an outstanding summer of athletics, with 400m runner Bendere Oboya, discus thrower Dani Stevens, high jumper Nicola McDermott and 100m sprinter Rohan Browning all named from NSWIS.
With all athletes having achieved Tokyo 2020 qualifying results, Dani Stevens will make her fourth Olympic Team, whilst Oboya, McDermott and Browning will all make their Olympic debuts.
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Chef de Mission Ian Chesterman welcomed the athletes to the Australian Olympic Team after an excellent national championships.
“The AOC is thrilled to announce these 15 outstanding athletes to the Team for the Tokyo Games,” Mr Chesterman said.
“The group includes national champions and national record-holders, who have produced world class performances to achieve tough qualifying standards. This selection is testament to the incredible work they have put in over their entire athletic career and in particular their efforts throughout such a trying 2020. Today is a great celebration of that determination.
“Congratulations not only to the athletes but to the coaches, families, teammates, friends, sporting institutes and everyone at Athletics Australia who has helped develop these athletes across the years to be ready to take on the world on the world’s biggest sporting stage.
Athletes selected either qualified for auto-nomination as national champions who had achieved a Tokyo qualifying standard to the AOC under the Athletics Australia nomination criteria, or as discretionary nominations for athletes with a Tokyo qualifier and satisfying Athletics Australia’s nomination criteria.
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23-year-old Sydneysider Rohan Browning becomes the first Australian man to compete in the Olympic 100m since Athens 2004.
“It means the world to be selected for my first Olympics,” said Browning.
“Ever since I got in this sport when I was about 16, it was all about Tokyo and I feel like it’s now the start of the rest of my career.
“I wanted to be the national champ, I wanted automatic selection, I want to go to the Olympics and I want to make the final and be competitive, that’s what it’s all about.”
32-year-old Dani Stevens has been selected to her fourth Olympic Team, after a record-setting 14th national title and return from a serious neck injury suffered in 2020.
“This Team has been the hardest one to make and the one I’m most grateful for.” Stevens said.
“It’s really special to know I’ll be there in Tokyo.
“Thinking about becoming a four-time Olympian is really quite cool. I’m looking to be in personal best shape for me, and that Olympic medal is the one that I don’t have so I would love to walk away with from Tokyo.
“Every Games I’ve been to has been so different – from Beijing to London to Rio there’s so many changes, and as athletes we’re used to adapting to each situation. We know Tokyo will be really different, but we’re just going to do everything we can to prepare.
Darren Gocher, Athletics Australia CEO, congratulated the athletes on their selection.
“The naming of athletes on the Australian Olympic Athletics Team for Tokyo is an incredibly exciting milestone for Olympic veterans and debutants alike, and we’re particularly excited to see what this group of athletes can achieve,” Mr Gocher said.
— NSW Institute of Sport (@NSWIS) April 18, 2021
The selections take the selected Team size for Tokyo 2020 to 95 athletes of an expected 450 – 480-strong Team.
Athletes can also earn qualification for Tokyo based on world rankings the end of June, with additional athletes due to be nominated for selection then in line with Athletics Australia’s nomination criteria and Tokyo 2020.