2019 is set to be another big year for WA’s high performance
talent with a number of huge events standing out on the international calendar.
Even in the absence of multi-sport Olympic, Paralympic or
Commonwealth Games event, 2019 is still showcased by two of the globe’s biggest
sporting events that will dominate the sports calendar in the form of the biennial
Athletics and Aquatic World Championships.
Athletics World Championships
September – 6 October
The 17th edition of the IAAF Athletics World
Championships will be hosted in the searing heat of Doha.
It’s the first time the championships have travelled to the
Middle-East and the bulk of the action will take place in the Khalifa
International Stadium which can host 48,000 spectators.
Typically, Qatar experiences temperature ranges across
September and October that fluctuate between the mid-twenties (night) to the
high-thirties during the day. As a result, some events – namely the men’s and
women’s marathons and race walks – will begin at midnight to avoid excessive
Australia will be looking to build on the success of the 2018
Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast, where a huge Australian Flame team
performed brilliantly to top the medal standings.
Whilst that team boasted over 100 athletes, it is expected a
much smaller squad will travel for the World Championships, with the
qualification standards required for entry, much sterner than that of a
Western Australia will be hoping to boast representation in
Doha, with strong prospects in pole vault and a handful of other events.
The men’s pole vault qualification standard sits at 5.71m –
which Kurtis Marschall has bested regularly in 2018 competition, whilst Nina
Kennedy elevated her personal best beyond the women’s standard (4.56m) over the
course of her 2018 campaign. Declan Carruthers and Liz Parnov are others who
will chase qualification in the New Year.
Brianna Beahan will target selection in the women’s 100m
hurdles with the qualification standard set at 12.98sec. Beahan has regularly threatened
such times, but will also be vying against the world class Sally Pearson and
the highly credentialed Michelle Jenneke for berths.
Ian Dewhurst will target the men’s 400m hurdles and will
need to lower his personal best down to the 49.30sec qualifying mark to get
Matthew Ramsden is rightly regarded as one of Australia’s
best young middle distance runners, as evidenced by his recent win at the Australian
His challenge will be to meet the 1500m time of 3:36.00min
or the 3:53.10 required for the mile.
WA’s top javelin stars in Luke Cann and Cruz Hogan will be
chasing a target of 83.00m to push their case for selection, whilst a sprint relay
spot will be in the sights of Aaron Bresland. Declan Tingay could be a bolter
in the 20km race walk, although Australia has strong depth of established
international talent he would need to overcome first.
Further details: https://iaafworldathleticschamps.com/doha2019/
Aquatic World Championships
Dates: 12 July – 28
South Korea will become the first Asian nation to host the
FINA Aquatic World Championships which combines the various water sports all within
one centralised championship.
Swimming, Diving, Synchronised Swimming, Water Polo, Open
Water Swimming and High Diving are all represented through the Aquatic World
Western Australia would expect to have representatives in at
least four disciplines with Swimming, Diving, Water Polo and Synchronised
Swimming all likely candidates, whilst Open Water could fetch a fifth.
Six swimmers (including one para) represented Australia at
the Commonwealth Games this year and of those, Brianna Throssell, Zac Incerti,
Holly Barratt and Blair Evans would consider themselves strong chances to
Nicholas Brown recently competed at the Short Course World
Championships in China and he will look to promote his development through to
the long-course format, whilst George Harley, Tommy Sucipto and host of others
will also be seeking senior team berths.
Maddison Keeney is the current 1m springboard world champion
and she will also target the 3m and 3m synchro competitions. West Aussie Teju
Williamson will push for a debut in 10m platform, whilst the emergence of
Nikita Hains continues to gather momentum, similarly in the platform discipline.
WA will boast representation across both men’s and women’s
national teams in the water polo, with athletes such as Aaron Younger and Zoe
Arancini likely to play leading roles for their respective teams. The Sharks
will hope to build on an encouraging 2018 year, whilst the women are building
depth under a new coach with opportunities available for talented young members,
Rio Olympians Amie Thompson, Rose Stackpole and Danielle
Kettlewell will be leading candidates for representative duties with the
synchro national team, whilst Simon Huitenga will seek selection in the open
Further Details: http://www.fina.org/event/18th-fina-world-championships
Event: UCI Track
Cycling World Championships
Dates: 27 February
– 03 March
The track cycling world championships are held each year,
with 2019 seeing Poland play host at the Pruszkow Arena.
Cameron Meyer and Sam Welsford will be the men to watch from
a Western Australian perspective, with Meyer owning a virtual lock on the
points race rainbow jersey, whilst Welsford and the Australian men’s team
pursuit squad will look to reclaim the world title, and will feel they’re every
chance after breaking a world record at the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
Further Details: http://www.pruszkow2019.pl/en/907-2/
Event: ICF Sprint
Canoe World Championships
Dates: 21 August –
The world’s best sprint canoe stars will descend on Szeged in
2019 as it hosts the ICF World Championships for the fourth time. As such it is
considered something of a spiritual home for the sport, with Hungary a
significant international power of the competition circuit.
With the retirement of Steve Bird in 2018, Gold Coast based
West Aussie paddler Jaime Roberts assumes the mantle of the state’s, senior
Roberts will focus on the K4 500m event, with the Australian
women impressing significantly in a new combination across the 2018 international
Further Details: https://www.canoeicf.com/canoe-sprint-world-championships/szeged-2019
Dates: 12 July – 21
The perennial dominance of the trans-Tasman over
international netball is no more. With England defeating both New Zealand and
Australia en route to a famous Commonwealth Games gold medal on Aussie soil in
2018, a new player has arrived.
The Australian Diamonds will be thoroughly determined to win
back bragging rights and retain their World crown which it won at the last
championship in Sydney back in 2015 over the Silver Ferns.
To do so, they’ll need to win on English soil this time
against a side brimming with talent that regularly features in Australia’s top
domestic competition. New Zealand, Jamaica and South Africa will all be threats
on their day.
Caitlin Bassett and Courtney Bruce are likely to provide
significant roles for the Diamonds, whilst the excellence of young star Jess
Anstiss cannot be discounted as a squad bolter either.
Further Details: https://www.nwc2019.co.uk/
Dates: 25 August –
The beautiful waters of Austria will provide a picturesque
home for the 2019 World Rowing Championships in Linz-Ottensheim.
Western Australia has enjoyed a resurgence in the sport in
recent times and will again hope to boast healthy representation in 2019.
Josh Hicks, David Watts and Annabelle McIntyre were all
members of medal winning crews in 2018 and with further athletes selected for
the National Training Centres in Canberra and Penrith, there is every chance
the state can again provide strong representation for the Australian Rowing
Team in the last major before the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
Further Details: https://www.wrch2019.com/
countdown for Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games
Dates: Olympic countdown
– July 24, Paralympic countdown – August 25
There’s always something symbolic and striking about a
one-year countdown for a major event and the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic
countdowns will be no different in 2019.
Australia is set to send strong teams to both events with
many sports set to contest their final world championships ahead of the Games. The
year to go celebrations will see an increase in the media coverage and will also
unofficially commence the selection frameworks and policies for the many and
various events afforded through both Games.
2019 will also present significant World Championships
through the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) for both Athletics and
Dubai will host the IPC Athletics World Championships from
November 7-15 with big WA names such as Madison de Rozario, Sarah Edmiston, Ella
Pardy and Rhiannon Clarke all in the mix for competition.
In a boost for WA’s swimming athletes, the IPC World Para
Swimming Championships will be held in Kuching, Malaysia (July 29 – August 4) which
will offer reduced travel load and convenient time-zone for those athletes
selected. The familiar faces of Kat Downie, Jeremy McClure, Guy Harrison-Murray
and a new kid on the block in the form of Ben Popham – who seriously impressed at
the 2018 Para Pan Pacs in Cairns – will all be in strong contention for the
To keep abreast of all the countdown news and flavour, you
can follow the national committees via the below links.