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National News

FINALISTS ANNOUNCED

Wednesday, 1 October 2014 | Anonym

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It is with great excitement that Athletics Australia can today confirm the illustrious list of finalists for our sport’s most prestigious honours, to be presented at the 2014 Athlete of the Year Awards, proudly presented by Eurosport, on Thursday 23 October.

Culminating with the announcement of the Male and Female Athlete and Para-Athletes of the Year, the event will bring together the athletics family to celebrate the 2014 year and our many successes on the track and in the field both domestically during the Australian Athletics Tour and around the world at events such as the IAAF World Race Walking Cup and the Commonwealth Games.

The evening will also see the induction of a new Athletics Australia Life Governor, the presentation of the Edwin Flack Award and Coach of the Year Awards and the announcement of bib numbers for our most recent Australian representatives at the Commonwealth Games.

We will also see the induction of new members to the Athletics Australia Hall of Fame, with details on the inductees to be provided in the week commencing Monday 13 October.

For more information on the 2014 Athlete of the Year Awards, or to purchase tickets, please click here.

It is with great pleasure that we confirm that the following finalists:

Male Athlete of the Year
Jared Tallent (VIC)
Tallent’s nomination follows yet another medal winning performance on the world stage, with the now Adelaide-based charge storming home to win bronze in the men’s 50km walk at the IAAF World Race Walking Cup. He also placed second overall, with 23 points, in the IAAF World Race Walking Challenge.

Dane Bird-Smith (QLD)
Bird-Smith has enjoyed a meteoric rise in the world walking ranks in 2014 to continue the impressive open age debut he made at last year’s IAAF World Championships. At the close of competition this year, he boasts new personal best performances in the 3000m walk, 5000m walk, 10,000m walk and 20km walk. He also won his maiden open age national championship in February.

Michael Shelley (QLD)
Launching the Australian athletics campaign at Glasgow 2014 in style, Michael Shelley clocked a new personal best of 2:11:15 to win gold in the men’s marathon at this year’s Commonwealth Games. The first to do so since Steve Moneghetti in 1994, his performance has seen him also nominated for the illustrious Don Award by the Sport Australia Hall of Fame.

Jeff Riseley (VIC)
Riseley has returned to competitive athletics in style this year after missing much of the 2013 season through injury. He now lays claim to the national 1000m record, the Australian 1500m title and two strong fifth place performances in the 800m and 1500m from the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

Hamish Peacock (TAS)
The rise of Hamish Peacock in the Australian athletics ranks continues with the Hobart-local this year bettering his season opening personal best on three occasions to boast a mark of 82.24m. He also won the silver medal at the Australian Athletics Championships and bronze at the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

NOTES:
The Selection Panel advises that the group of finalists was expanded to five athletes to ensure that, in their opinion, all eligible and appropriate athletes were included.
They also commend Alex Rowe on his outstanding Australian record, but advise that, in accordance with the criteria, he is ineligible because he did not compete at his event appropriate major championship (the Commonwealth Games) during this selection period.

Female Athlete of the Year
Sally Pearson (QLD)
Pearson launched her year with national championship victory in the women’s 100m and 100m hurdles, as well as the silver medal in the 60m hurdles at the IAAF World Indoor Championships. She went on to win her second consecutive gold medal in the women’s 100m hurdles at the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

Alana Boyd (QLD)
Competing in arguably the most trying of circumstances, Boyd overcame an initial jittery start to dominate the women’s pole vault at the 2014 Commonwealth Games and win back-to-back gold with a mark of 4.50m. Her average clearances during the European season were on average higher than ever before, and she was beaten only once in Australia during the domestic season.

Dani Samuels (NSW)
Samuels has enjoyed the best year of her career to date. The gold medallist at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in the women’s discus throw, she was unbeaten in Australia and won yet another national crown before going on to secure a podium finish at every meet she competed in 2014. She improved on her season-opening personal best on four occasions and also won a silver medal at the IAAF Continental Cup.

Kim Mickle (WA)
Mickle closes her season with a trophy cabinet that now includes the 2014 Commonwealth Games gold medal and the Australian javelin record of 66.83m from the IAAF Melbourne World Challenge. She won the national championship gold medal, was unbeaten across the National Athletics Series and finished amongst the top-three at every event she competed internationally.

Eleanor Patterson (VIC)
The youngest of the nominees at 18-years-old, Patterson is a star on the rise. Soaring to a world youth best of 1.96m at the Australian All-Schools in December, she has since remained unbeaten in the women’s high jump, including at the 2014 Commonwealth Games where she won an amazing gold medal on open age debut.

NOTES:
The Selection Panel advises that the group of finalists was expanded to five athletes to ensure that, in their opinion, all eligible and appropriate athletes were included.
They also extend an honourable mention to Melissa Breen, who earlier this year improved the 20-year-old national 100m record to 11.11.

Male Para-Athlete of the Year
Kurt Fearnley (NSW)
Fearnley stormed home in the wheelchair 1500m to win a silver medal at the 2014 Commonwealth to continue an international career that includes multiple Paralympic and world championship medal winning performances. He also won silver at the 2014 Australian Athletics Championships.

Michael Roeger (SA)
Improving his personal best across multiple distances, Roeger’s year is best highlighted by his number one ranking in the T46 1500m for arm amputees following a successful training camp in America.

Chad Perris (WA)
A bronze medallist in the ambulant 100m at the Australian Athletics Championships, Perris closes the year with a new personal best and the number one world ranking for the men’s short sprint for visually impaired athletes (classification T13).

Deon Kenzie (TAS)
Continuing his open age athletics rise after a strong showing at the IPC Athletics World Championships in 2013, Kenzie is the national champion for the ambulant 800m and 1500m, and the world number one ranked 800m runner for the T38 800m for athletes with cerebral palsy.

Female Para-Athlete of the Year
Jodi Elkington (NSW)
Elkington delivered a dominant performance at the 2014 Commonwealth Games to win gold in the women’s F37/38 long jump for athletes with cerebral palsy. Her performance of 4.22m was so impressive that it, together with each of her other legal jumps, were enough to stand atop the dais.

Angela Ballard (NSW)
The bronze medallist in the wheelchair 1500m at the Australian Athletics Championships, Ballard went on to win gold in the T54 1500m event at the Commonwealth Games.

Kath Proudfoot (NSW)
Proudfoot is the Australian champion in the ambulant shot put, and she has rounded out 2014 as the world number one ranked athlete for the F36 shot put, an event in which she will look to defend her medal winning performance from London at the Rio Paralympic Games.

Christie Dawes (NSW)
The silver medallist in the women’s wheelchair 1500m at the Australian Athletics Championships, Dawes narrowly missed a medal in the T54 1500m event at the 2014 Commonwealth Games. She also placed 5th in the London Marathon in March.

Junior Athlete of the Year
Cedric Dubler (QLD)
Dubler is the Australian under 20 decathlon champion and at the IAAF World Junior Championships he won a silver medal with a new personal best of 8094 points.

Eleanor Patterson (VIC)
Patterson is a star on the rise from rural Leongatha. Soaring to a world youth best of 1.96m at the Australian All-Schools in December, she has since remained unbeaten in the women’s high jump, including at the 2014 Commonwealth Games where she won an amazing gold medal on open age debut.

Georgia Wassell (NSW)
Competing across the Australian domestic season, Wassall was crowned the Australian under 20 champion and the open bronze medallist in the women’s 800m. She went on to compete for the Australian Spark at the IAAF World Junior Championships, winning bronze in a time of 2:02.71. Wassall also qualified for the Commonwealth Games but chose to focus on her age-appropriate championship.

Hannah Joye (QLD)
The bronze medallist at the Australian Athletics Championships in the women’s high jump, Joye earned selection to compete at the 2014 Commonwealth Games where she leapt to an equal personal best height of 1.89m to place 6th.

SELECTION PANEL:
The Selection Panel for the 2014 Athlete of the Year Awards is Athletics Australia Statistician and Life Governor Paul Jenes OAM, Athletics Australia Records Officer and Life Governor Ronda Jenkins OAM, Athletics Australia Director and former world record holder Nathan Deakes, Athletics Australia High Performance Director Simon Nathan, Paralympic Preparation Program Manager Andrew Faichney and in her capacity as an employee of the Athletics Australia Competitions Department, Michelle James.

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