20 JAN 2010 General News

Australia selects squad of 17 for Bydgoszcz

2008 World XC Champs - Australian senior women's team celebrate their team Bronze - (L-R) Melissa Rollison, Lisa Jane Weightman, Anna Thompson and Benita Johnson (Getty Images)2008 World XC Champs - Australian senior women's team celebrate their team Bronze - (L-R) Melissa Rollison, Lisa Jane Weightman, Anna Thompson and Benita Johnson (Getty Images) © Copyright

Athletics Australia has announced a 17strong team headlined by national 10,000m record-holder Collis Birmingham and 2004 World Cross Country champion Benita Willis (Johnson) to contest the 38th IAAF World Cross Country Championships in Bydgoszcz, Poland, 28 March 2010.

Birmingham, a four-time World XC representative who posted his best-ever finish at the international meet in 2009 (29th), will be joined on the start line of the senior men’s 12km event by three-time World XC representative Liam Adams, 2009 World Half Marathon representative Jeff Hunt, reigning national cross country champion Clint Perrett and rising star Duer Yoa.
 
Willis, a veteran of seven World Cross Country Championships and winner of the World title in Brussels (BEL) in 2004, will be joined by national 10,000m champion Eloise Wellings, dual world cross country teams bronze medallist Anna Thompson, reigning national road racing champion Nikki Chapple, three-time World XC representative Lara Tamsett and senior international debutante Tamara Carvolth over the senior women’s 8km course.

Thirty-year-old Willis said she would travel to Bydgoszcz with a senior women’s team medal in her sights.

“Women’s running in Australia is going from strength to strength and I think we’re a real chance for a medal,” she said.
 
“I’ve been training with the girls up at Falls Creek (Vic) and we’re great mates who are running confidently together. We’ve got a lot of guts here in Australia and make no mistake, our isolation won’t stop us from hopefully becoming one of the best distance running countries in the world.”

Athletics Australia for the IAAF

Team

MEN

Senior 12km
Liam Adams (23, Vic)
Collis Birmingham (25, Vic)
Jeff Hunt (27, NSW)
Clint Perrett (26, Vic)
Duer Yoa (20, Vic)

Junior 8km
Kevin Batt (18, NSW)
Ethan Heywood (17, WA)
David Ricketts (18, NSW)
Joshua Tedesco (18, WA)

WOMEN

Senior 8km
Tamara Carvolth (19, Qld)
Nikki Chapple (29, Vic)
Lara Tamsett (21, NSW)
Anna Thompson (33, Vic)
Eloise Wellings (27. NSW)
Benita Willis (30, Vic)

Junior 6km
Grace Thek (18, Vic)
Demi Wood (17, SA)