Commonwealth Games Australia has announced 44 names additional names to complete the athletics squad for Gold Coast 2018.
This brings the total number of athletics representatives to 109, the second-largest team in history following Melbourne in 2006.
Australian Team Chef de Mission Steve Moneghetti congratulated the new members and reiterated the strength of the Team.
“Congratulations to the 44 new members on the Team, we now have a full athletics squad that will represent Australia on the Gold Coast in April,” Moneghetti said.
“It has been over 10 years since we have had such a strong squad in athletics and I am really looking forward to being a part of it and encouraging everyone to go out there and do their best.
“The Games are only 32 days away and the inclusion of these 44 athletes onto the Team brings the current total to 293 of 470 athletes that will represent Australia on the Gold Coast in April.”
Kurt Fearnley (NSW) will close out his remarkable and inspirational career with his selection confirmed in the T54 Marathon and 1500m.
Fearnley was the silver medallist in the T54 1500m at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, following on from his gold medal-winning performance in the same event in Delhi.
Pulling on the green and gold once is special and if that’s all you get, you’re luckier than most,” he said.
“So, to have the honour of representing Australia at a third Commonwealth Games as well as at a few Paralympics, World Championships and Olympics is something else.”
Fearnley joins another T54 1500m representative in Angela Ballard as the only Australian athletes at the 2018 Commonwealth Games still competing from the Paralympic Games in 2000.
“To be able to bookend my career in the green and gold with a home games on the Gold Coast after kicking off in Sydney in 2000 makes it extra special,” the 36-year-old continued.
“I was lucky enough to be handed the baton in Sydney as a plucky 19-year-old from some Australian wheelchair racing greats like Geoff Trappett and Louise Sauvage and it’s comforting to know that I’m leaving things in the very capable hands of great young racers like Madi [de Rozario], Sam [Rizzo] and Jake [Lappin].”
Sam Walker (Tas – T38 100m) is one of three 15-year-olds included in the athletics team alongside Rhiannon Clarke (WA – T38 100m) and Kailyn Joseph (NSW – T38 long jump).
Walker will set a new record as the youngest male competitor for Australian athletics, aged just 15 years and 166 days when he begins competition.
Gold medallist from Delhi in 2010, Fabrice Lapierre (NSW – long jump) joins Benn Harradine (Qld – discus), Kathryn Mitchell (Vic – javelin), Sally Pearson (Qld – 100m hurdles, 4x100m relay) and Lauren Wells (ACT, 400m hurdles, 4x400m relay and long jump), in a record-equalling fourth Commonwealth Games.
While he didn’t compete at the recent Australian Athletics Championships & Nomination Trial, choosing to remain in the US where he is studying at Duke University, Steve Solomon (NSW) has earned a start in the 400m and 4x400m relay.
Interest in athletics at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games has been huge, with over 80% of tickets sold. Good news for fans is that tickets still remain for three evening sessions and four morning sessions at Carrara Stadium.
The remaining three finals sessions (Monday 9 April, Tuesday 10 April and Wednesday 11 April) have sensational events including the 100m finals, 400m finals, men’s 1,500m, women’s 10,000m, men’s long jump and women’s javelin (to name a few).
Fans will need to be quick to not miss out. Check availability and purchase tickets here at gc2018.com/tickets
The full Australian team competing in Athletics at the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games is: