The biggest one-day meet on the Australian domestic calendar hits Brisbane again on March 23 for the 2019 QLD Track Classic.
In 2018, the QLD Track Classic was flooded with internationals courtesy of the Commonwealth Games. Stars were abound on the track with the likes of Yohan Blake, Elaine Thompson as well as Australia's Sally Pearson and Dane Bird-Smith. It was the perfect lead up event before the games and this year will be no different.
Falling on the 23rd of March. The 2019 QLD Track Classic will play host of a cast of international athletes from Asia and Oceania, going head to head with Australia's best. Not only will there be bragging rights on the line, but cash prizes for the main events adding up $25,000.
Check out just a small preview of some of the highlight events for this years QLD Track Classic!
The mens 100m has always been seen as the blue ribbon event, and the QLD Track Classic plans on delivering the goods. Star of the show would have to be Yoshihide Kiryu, the first Japanese athlete to clock a legal sub 10 100m time when he hit 9.98s at the end of 2017. A prolific talent, he owns the second fastest u18 100m time (10.19) and the equal third fastest u20 100m time (10.01). Kiryu featured strongly in the national team that took the silver at the 2016 Rio Olympics 4x100m and bronze at the 2017 London World Championships.
Also making his way down-under is team mate Aska Cambridge. The 9th fastest Japanese athlete of all time with a 10.08 personal best, Cambridge was also a part of the Rio and London medal winning relay teams. Another international sure to feature is South Korean Kuk-Young Kim. Making the final in the 2015 World University, he set a personal best of 10.07 in 2017. Newly crowned Japanese Indoor 60m record holder Takuya Kawakami (6.54) should set the field alight when they leave the blocks.
Lining up to defend home turf will be some of Australia's brightest sprint stars. Townsville sprinter Jake Doran had an insane 2018, cutting his personal best by 0.34s to 10.15, setting a new Australian u20 record and moving up to equal sixth on the Australia all-time list. He'll be joined on the start line by previous u20 record holder Jack Hale. Undefeated so far this season in the short sprint, Hale will be hoping to add a few international scalps to his resume and improve on his 2016 personal best of 10.21 (has run four wind assisted times faster since setting that pb) Another Aussie to feature in the main 100m will be Sydney's Rohan Browning. The best placed Australian at the 2018 Commonwealth Games, Browning was a mere few thousandths away from making the final on the Gold Coast, and if he's finally flushed the lactic out of his system after his brave 400m run at the Sydney Track Classic, he should feature strongly in this race. Winner of five national titles Alex Hartmann (100 x 1, 200 x 4) is not to be discounted after running a seasons best at the QLD State Championships on the weekend and taking out the QLD title in the process.
What a 2018 it was for the Victorian thrower Kathryn Mitchell, starting the year with a throw only 10cm below the Australian record, Mitchell re-wrote the record books in early February with a throw of 67.58. She moved it another another metre and a half by the time the Commonwealth Games came around to 68.92, securing the gold medal and becoming the seventh furthest thrower in history. She finished 2018 with the longest throw in the world by over a metre and 3 of the 5 longest throws for the year.
Finishing second on the Gold Coast was Kelsey-Lee Barber, who, at the 2018 edition of this meet, set her current pb of 64.57m. Pushing them to their best with be a strong contingent of Japanese athletes lead by multiple World Championship qualifier Risa Miyashita.
Australia has a rich history in the Long Jump and 2018 was no different, delivering two silver medals at the Commonwealth Games as well as a third and fifth place finish in the Diamond League Finals.
Having his most consistent year ever, Henry Frayne kicked off his campaign with a Pb 8.34m in the qualifying and 8.33m in the final for the silver. He finished his season with a third place finish in the Diamond League, a fourth place finish at the Continental Cup and 10 competitions with 10 leaps over 8ms.
While Frayne has been preparing for his season debut, Henry Smith and Darcy Roper have been stepping up their game. Smith hit a PB at the Canberra Track Classic of 7.87 only to back it up two weeks later with a legal 8.06m for his first 8m jump. He wasn't to win that competition though, with Darcy Roper finding some excellent form and popping out a huge 8.20m. Unfortunately for Darcy, the win was an agonising +2.1.
These three will be join by a large group of Australians and Internationals in one of the hottest Long Jump fields in a while.
In the Women's Long Jump, we have another silver medallist in the form of Victorian Brooke Stratton. The Australian record holder leapt 6.77m for second place on the Gold Coast after setting a seasons best 6.88m at the 2018 edition of the QLD Track Classic. Stratton then went on to have successful European season finishing fifth in the Diamond League final, winning the Berlin ISTAF meet and placing second in the Continental Cup.
Hot on her heels will be local favourite Naa Anang. A ninth place at the Commonwealth Games after her 2017 senior debut at the London World Championships, she is poised for a breakout season. Fresh off a huge run at the QLD State Championships, Anang set the fastest 100m time of the year, clocking 11.43, which is the fastest time since 2016 by an Australian woman not named Sally Pearson or Melissa Breen. This event is is choc full of talent at the moment, with a huge amount of girls surpassing the 6m barrier in 2019 already.
There is honestly too much to talk about with the 2019 QLD Track Classic, where everything event will be a highlight. Check out more of the standouts below:
- Brandon Starc has his first QLD jump since his gold medal effort on the Gold Coast at the Commonwealth Games. Now he's back as the equal Australian record holder up against South Korea's Woo Sang-hyeok (2.30m pb) and plenty more.
- The mens 110H has had a resurgence following Nicholas Hough's bronze on the Gold Coast. He's dragged along NSW athletes Jacob McCorry and Nicholas Andrews into sub 14s territory and will face national record holders Taio Kanai (Japan) and Kim Byoung-jun (South Korea)
- The womens sprints will showcase a rising sea of talent, with reigning national champion Riley Day testing herself over both the 100 and 200 against New Zealand Champion Zoe Hobbs. Morgan Mitchell heads north to take on a trio of Queenslanders all ready to fire in the form of Ella Connolly, Caitlin Jones and Ellie Beer.
- Japan is bringing their best 400m runners out before they head to Doha for the Asian Games and the mens field is stacked. Lead by Julian Jrummi Walsh (45.35) they will also feature in the 4x400m to close out the program. The importance of the 4x400 for Australia is it is the last chance for the mens team to qualify for the 2019 World Relays in Yokohama. A time of 3:05.00 is needed to make the trip and the first step towards a berth at the 2019 World Championships.
There is still so much more on offer at the 2019 QLD Track Classic. You can check out everything you need to know by clicking here