The Chase for Tokyo Commences

Athletics | Published: Thu 9 May 2019

A string of WA’s top level track and field talents will take on the Oceania Championships in Townsville this June as the qualification process for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games commences.


Changes to the qualification process outlined by the IAAF have seen the Oceania Championships take on a dramatically more important focus than previously, with the elevated ranking points on offer seeing many of the country’s elite talents set to compete.


As of May 1, 2019 – any athlete that achieves an IAAF automatic qualification standard will be eligible to compete in Tokyo, pending nomination from their national federation and ratification from their respective Olympic Committee.


With current expectations being that only half of the competitors across all track and field events in Tokyo next year being met by automatic qualification performances globally, the race will be on for individual athletes to boost their world rankings, which is set to form the other half of quota selections for the Games.


World ranking standards will now be more directly influenced by ranking points returned from priority events, with points accrued determined by competition level.


The 2019 IAAF World Championships for example will attract a higher level of ranking points than a Diamond League Meet and so forth.


From an Australian perspective, the Oceania Championships will offer higher IAAF ranking points than that of the Australian Athletics Championships, hence why this year’s titles have attracted such a strong field.


You can read more about the specifics of these changes and how they apply to the Oceania Championships/Tokyo 2020 via an Inside Athletics blog post.


In Townsville, 10 Western Australian athletes have currently earned selection to compete. They are listed by event below:




  • 1500m: Matt Ramsden
  • 400m hurdles: Ian Dewhurst
  • High Jump: Grant Szalek
  • Pole Vault: Angus Armstrong, Declan Carruthers, Stephen Clough
  • 10km Walk: Declan Tingay




  • 100m hurdles: Brianna Beahan
  • Pole Vault: Liz Parnova, Nina Kennedy