Cathy Freeman (AUS) after winning the 400m gold medal at the 1997 IAAF World Championships (Getty Images) © Copyright
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World Champion Cathy Freeman leads Australian team for Seville

World Champion Cathy Freeman leads Australian team for Seville
60 athletes have been selected to represent Australia in Seville, Spain from August 20-29 on the occasion of the 7th IAAF World Championships in Athletics.

The team will be led by defending 400m World Champion Cathy Freeman who claimed her fourth Australian one lap title after an epic clash with one of her ‘Southern Stars’ team mates, Tania Van Heer last week end.

The selection, which also includes Athens’ silver javelin medallist Johanna Stone and bronze medallists Tim Forsyth (high jump) and Steve Moneghetti (marathon), is the largest Australian team ever selected for the IAAF World Championships. And Australia will certainly be aiming at a higher number of medals in Seville, after the four gained in Athens.

First on the list, world record holder Emma George will be keen on becoming the first ever women’s World Pole Vault Champion, the women pole vault contest making its first ever appearance at a World Championships in Seville.

Great performances are expected from Australian sprint revelation Matt Shirvington, who will double in the 100m and 200m in Seville. Shirvington, who established a new Australian 100m record of 10.03 last year, placed an excellent fourth in this year’s World Indoor Championships in Maebashi.

Athens’ semi-finalists Kyle Vander Kuyp (110m hurdles) and Ziad Abou Hamed (400m hurdles), 1997 finalist Melinda Gaisnsford-Taylor (200m), 1998 Commonwealth games silver medallist Jamie Jamieson (heptathlon) and 1998 World Junior silver medallist Vincent Casey (400m) will also be hot competitors in Seville.

Several new faces will be wearing the green and gold jacket for the first time in Seville. The dynamic pole-vault duo made up of Dmitri Markov and Viktor Chistiakov, and former Ethiopian distance runner Mizan Mehari. Markov, formerly from Belarus and ranked world No. 2 in 1998, has been chosen subject to fitness despite missing the national championships for medical reasons. Whilst Chistiakov, a former Russian, won last weekend’s National title thus sealing his place in the team. Markov, Chistiakov and Mehari have been in Australia since late 1996.

The team:
100m: Matt Shirvington
200m: Matt Shirvington, Darryl Wohlsen
400m: Brad Jamieson, Casey Vincent
800m: Brendan Hanigan
1500m: Paul Cleary
5000m: Mizan Mehari, Lee Troop
10000m: Lee Troop
Marathon: Pat Carroll, Shaun Creighton, Steve Moneghetti
110m hurdles: Kyle Vander Kuyp
400m hurdles: Zid Abou Hamed, Matt Beckenham , Rohan Robinson
20km Walk: Nick A'Hern
50km Walk: Dion Russell
High Jump: Tim Forsyth
Pole Vault: Viktor Chistiakov, Dmitri Markov
Long Jump: Peter Burge, Jai Taurima
Triple Jump: Andrew Murphy
Hammer: Stuart Rendell
Decathlon: Scott Ferrier, Jagan Hames
4x100m: Adam Basil, David Baxter, Paul Di Bella, Damien Marsh, Matt Shirvington, Darryl Wohlsen.
4x400m: Patrick Dwyer, Brad Jamieson, Mark Moresi, Declan Stack, Scott Thom, Casey Vincent.

100m: Melinda Gainsford-Taylor, Lauren Hewitt
200m: Lauren Hewitt, Jodi Lambert, Tania Van Heer
400m: Susan Andrews, Catherine Freeman, Tania Van Heer
800m: Tamsyn Lewis
5000m: Natalie Harvey, Susie Power
10000m: Natalie Harvey, Kerryn McCann
Marathon: Nicky Carroll , Lisa Dick , Heather Turland
Pole Vault: Emma George, Tatiana Grigorieva
Long Jump: Nicole Boegman
Discus: Alison Lever, Lisa-Marie Vizaniari
Hammer: Deborah Sosimenko
Javelin: Louise Currey, Joanna Stone
Heptathlon: Jane Jamieson
4x100m: Sharon Cripps, Catherine Freeman, MelindaGainsford-Taylor, Lauren Hewitt, Jodi Lambert, Nova Peris-Kneebone, Tania Van Heer.
4x400m: Susan Andrews, Catherine Freeman, Rosemary Hayward, TamsynLewis, Lee Naylor, Tania Van Heer.