Australia on Wednesday announced the first part of their squad for the 2017 World Para Athletics Championships with six athletes selected to make trips to London.
The Australian squad, while small is a strong one containing four defending world champions with two additional places for Rio gold medalists. The defending world champions are Isis Holt, Madison de Rozario, Angela Ballard, and Todd Hodgetts. The two others who are Paralympic champions are James Turner and Scott Reardon.
Dion Russell, who heads the selection committee for Athletics Australia said “These athletes are gold medallists from either the World Championships in Doha in 2015 or Rio 2016 that also have a combination of at least two AthleticsAustralia ‘A’ or ‘B’ standards for their selected events.”
This is only the initial selection, with the qualification period continuing for Australians in the coming months. Athletes will have until June 5th to make a claim for the squad and Australia is hoping to send their largest team ever to the world championships.
Holt will look to defend her sprint double crowns in the T35 classification and comes in having done under 20 para sprint double in Sydney at the national championships last week, while coming second in the 200m for all ages. Turner won multiple national championships including in different events to his Paralympic title, he easily won the national championship in the 400m finishing three seconds clear of the nearest rivals, while claiming the win in the 200m, his higher classification (T36) having him considered the winner.
Reardon won the 100m race at the national championship, finishing in the middle of the field but his higher classification (T42) gave him the win. The winner across the line in that race was Evan O’Hanlon (T38) who finished in a time of 11.26, giving him the national championship silver.
The rest of the squad had strong performances throughout the year, hitting the standards for selection and being selected by Athletics Australia.