Sydney, Australia; April 16 2021 – Queensland young gun Ashley Moloney (QLD) is the king of Australian decathlon after a stunning performance over two days to win the event at the 2021 Australian Track and Field Championships.
Moloney’s result ensures he will receive automatic nomination for selection to the Australian Olympic Team, while second place getter, Rio Olympian Cedric Dubler (QLD) will receive discretionary nomination.
Scoring a total of 8284 at the conclusion of competition, Moloney won six of the ten events, defeating Dubler and Alex Diamond (NSW) to stand atop of the podium.
Although Moloney finished the event with the highest point score, it was not without a challenge from Dubler who worked overtime to close the sizeable gap from day one of the decathlon, clawing his way back to finish with a 109 point difference between the pair.
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“Oh, I’m so relieved that I did it. I’m also so relieved that Day 2 is done, it’s been a really stressful day for me,” Moloney said.
“I was mostly happy with Day 1, I learnt a little about myself, but I saw Cedric’s score creeping up today, and I just kept thinking, ‘Get away from me, I need the gap!’ but it was a good comp.”
Regarded as prodigious talent in decathlon, 21-year-old Moloney won the World Under 20 Championship in 2018 and just last year broke the Oceania record in the event, to move him to 2nd on the world ranking list for 2020.
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“I think a lot of my success comes down to training with an Olympian from 2016 (Dubler). He’s really guided me a long the way. He’s taught me a lot about mental stuff. Decathlon is not just about running, jumping and throwing, it’s keeping yourself together in one piece, it’s making sure you’re ready for the next event and taking one step at a time.”
Humble in defeat, Dubler said he was proud of his training partner and looked forward to putting their learnings into practise as they aim to conquer the Olympic decathlon together in just over 100 days’ time.
“It’s going to be really exciting preparing for the Olympics with Ash. We’ve pushed each other for years. I remember when I could smoke him in training and now he’s pulling me along for bigger and better things, so hopefully in the lead up to the Olympics, we can keep leaning on each other and produce something special over there,” Dubler said.
In his build toward the Tokyo Paralympics, Deon Kenzie (Tas) ended his season with a 4:03.46 run over 1500m, which is another A qualifying standard for the T38 athlete. Having recently become the first Australian athlete with cerebral palsy to run sub four minutes, Kenzie said he was pleased with his form as he puts the finishing touches on his preparation for his second Paralympic Games.
“Today was just about getting out there and executing a race from the front, which I was able to do, so I’m really happy with it. My goal at the start of the season was to hit that 3:55 which I was able to do not long ago and to execute that at this stage in the season sets me up well for my preparation for Tokyo,” Kenzie said.
Continuing her quest for selection for the Australian Paralympic Team heading to Tokyo, wheelchair racer-turned-thrower Rosemary Little (Vic, F32) put 6.12m for her first A qualifier of the season.
Spectators got a taste of what is brewing as one of the most anticipated events of the Championships, with the men’s 1500m heats proving how strong the current crop of Australian middle distance stars is. Stewart McSweyn (VIC) went straight to the front of his heat and posted the fastest time of the day. Rio Olympic finalist Ryan Gregson (VIC) and Matthew Ramsden (WA) will also make appearances in the final on Sunday, along with Victorians Jordan Williamsz and Adam Spencer as well as Jye Edwards (NSW).
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The 800m semi final saw fan favourite Peter Bol (VIC) show off his prowess, coasting through his event with ease. Jack Lunn (VIC) and Jared Micallef (QLD) will also throw their hats in the ring come tomorrow’s final. Other qualifiers include Lachlan Raper (NSW), Obssa Youssof (NSW), Mason Cohen (NSW), Jye Perrot (NSW) and Benjamin Quinn (NSW).
Australian record holder Catriona Bissett (VIC) was the quickest across two laps in the women’s event. Her quickest rival Claudia Hollingsworth (VIC) raced aggressively in her heat, while Tess Kirsopp-Cole (VIC) and Ellie Sanford (VIC) were among other qualifiers, along with Rose Pitman (SA), Amy Bennett (NSW), Amy Robinson (VIC) and Hannah Cox (QLD).
He shot to fame after qualifying for the 100m sprint at the Queensland Track Classic and now Rohan Browning (NSW) is one step closer to an Olympic berth and his maiden national title, as the fastest qualifying athlete for the 100m final. Jake Penny (VIC) and Edward Osei-Nkeita (NZ) will all challenge Browning in the final, as will Jack Hale (TAS) who recovered from a troublesome start to narrowly make the cut.
Hana Basic (VIC) headlined a slick five heats of the Women’s 100m, exploding out of the blocks before winding down well before the line on her way to progressing to the semis. Her main contenders in the final will be Ebony Lane (VIC) and Bree Masters (QLD) – who returned to racing tonight after a long stint on the sidelines. Sophia Fighera (VIC) has flown under the radar this season and will be a factor in the rounds to come, as will Taylah Cruttenden (WA) who is backing up after her U20 title earlier in the week. 2019 champion Naa Anang (QLD) also impressed after an interrupted preparation.
Athletics Australia major partner Coles presented $6,000 worth of Coles gift cards today as part of their Coles Australian Record Challenge initiative, after Nellie Mitchell (NSW) and Dayna Crees (VIC) collectively broke three national records. Mitchell set a new benchmark of 5:01.42 in the 1500m T13, while Crees won gold in two events from two, breaking the F34 seated javelin record with a 14.39m throw, while her secured shot put result saw her put 5.50m.
In the junior events tonight, Australia’s next generation of race walkers made themselves known on the Australian athletics circuit. After great success at the Australian Race Walking Championships, Will Thompson (VIC) secured his selection to the World Under 20 Championships team, with a 41:58.95 result in the Under 20 10,000m walk. Corey Dickson came in second place, just under 30 seconds behind in 42:26.87 for another World Under 20 Championships qualifier.
Torrie Lewis (QLD) has a World Under 20 qualifier over both the 100m and 200m this season, and today ran 11.80 into a strong head wind of 2.3 to take the Women’s U17 100m final. Her result is just one of many top performances over the season as she climbs the ranks of Australian athletics.
After a disqualification took him out of the Under 20 200m race, Ashley Wong (QLD) made a triumphant return to the track, crossing the line in the 100m in 10.82 (-2.5). While he misses the World Under 20 qualifier, the performance was strong in a brutal headwind.
For full results visit: http://athletics.resultshub.