South American city of Buenos Aires will be the destination for 13 of Australia’s brightest developing track and field talent, when they compete at the summer Youth Olympic Games in October 6-18. The third edition of the Games for under-18 athletes, follows previous hosts Singapore in 2010 and Nanjing in 2014,
Earlier editions of the YOG have provided the platform to launch the careers of some of Australia’s very best. A gold medallist in Singapore, hurdler Nick Hough has gone on to become the second-best high hurdler in Australian history, winning bronze at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games this year. High jumper and Rio Olympian, Brandon Starc who was a silver medallist eight years ago, won gold on the Gold Coast this year, while hammer thrower Alex Hulley, a silver medallist in Nanjing, converted quickly to the national senior team winning silver at the Gold Coast Games.
The 13 selected for the 2018 YOG athletics competition, have similar bright futures. Headlined by Keely Small,17, who has already made her senior Australian debut at the Gold Coast
Commonwealth Games. Competing in the 800m heats on the Gold Coast in April, she ran 2:00.81, just missing the eight-person final by 0.28 seconds. The time was the fastest in Australian junior history, breaking the national under-20 & 18 records. She remains the second fastest under-20 & 18 athlete in the world in 2018.
At the Australian junior championships in March, Perth’s Sophie White, 16, equalled Sally Pearson’s national under-18 100m hurdles record clocking 13.14, a time which remains the second fastest under-18 in the world this year. The Lyn Foreman-coached White backed that up winning the 100m in 11.61 proving she has abilities in the sprints and hurdles, at a young age, to match Pearson.
Brisbane high jumper Oscar Miers is on a similar pathway to his Olympian mother Monique Miers. Oscar, ranked in the top half-dozen in the world for his age, won the national under-18 title with a leap of 2.14m. Monique, a sprinter, competed at the 1988 World U20 Championships ahead of an illustrious senior career at the World Championships, Olympics Games, Commonwealth Games and World Cup.
Discus thrower Sally Shokry relishes the benefit of being coached by Denis Knowles the mastermind behind Commonwealth Games champion Dani Stevens. When Stevens is in town Shokry even trains alongside Australia’s greatest ever discus thrower.
Brisbane high jumper Elizabeth Moss has a similar experience to Shokry, she trains under coach-Eric Brown and alongside decathletes, Commonwealth Games medallist Cedric Dubler and World U20 champion Ashley Moloney.
In addition to Small, there is a strong contingent of distance runners. NSW South Coast’s Jaylah Hancock-Cameron is selected in the 1500m following a season where she slashed 12 seconds from her personal best. Another two NSW distance runners have been selected, Newcastle’s Luke Young (1500m) and Sydney’s Anthony Vlatko (800m). Queensland’s versatile distance runner, Jamie Hiscock, who would be worthy of a position in the 1500m, 3000m or steeplechase, has been selected in the 2000m steeplechase.
A 1.3 second improvement last summer and victories at the national under-18 championships and Melanesian Championships, put Sydney 400m athlete Keegan Bell in the frame for selection for Buenos Aires. The Lyn Foreman-coached Thomas Throssell ranked in the top-10 under-18s in the world, has been selected in the 400m hurdles.
National field event champions Rochelle Vidler (hammer throw) and Joshua Cowley (long jump) round out the selections of an excitingly talented Australian athletics team.
Australian team third summer Youth Olympic Games - Athletics section
Buenos Aires, Argentina
6-18 October 2018
Event Name (state, coach)
800m Keely Small (A, Philo Saunders)
1500m Jaylah Hancock-Cameron (N, Andae Kalemusic)
2000m Steeplechase Jamie Hiscock (Q, Ben Norton)
100 Hurdles Sophie White (W, Lyn Foreman)
High Jump Elizabeth Moss (Q, Eric Brown)
Discus Throw Sally Shokry (N, Denis Knowles)
Hammer Throw Rochelle Vidler (Q, Michael Moore)
400m Keegan Bell (N, Mike Hurst)
800m Anthony Vlatko (N, Ken Green)
1500m Luke Young (N, Jason Maxwell)
400m Hurdles Thomas Throssell (W, Lyn Foreman)
High Jump Oscar Miers (Q, Gary Bourne)
Long Jump Joshua Cowley (Q, Stacey Taurima)