2024 Australian Champs: Day 3 Review

Published Sun 14 Apr 2024

14 April 2024

2024 Australian Champs: Day 3 Review

SATURDAY: Sydney teenager Sebastian Sultana became the younger winner of the men’s 100m in 39 years, while Jessica Hull overpowered a strong women’s 1500m field to defend her title in a championship record time.

Sebastian Sultana: Sultana of Speed – youngest winner in 39 years

At the 2022 NSW All Schools we nicknamed Sebastian Sultana the Sultana of Speed after he ran the fastest time at the meet for 23 years. 18 months on, and still just a youthful 18, he has become the youngest winner of the Open men’s 100m championships of Australia in 39 years.

After clocking a stunning 100m personal best of 10.17 in the semi-final where he noticeably had eased up, he was installed as the favourite for the final and didn’t let the pressure get to him taking a comfortable win in 10.27 into a 1.2m/s wind. Camden’s Josh Azzopardi made it a 1-2 for NSW clinching second in 10.39 ahead of Tasmania Jacob Despard (third) and Rohan Browning (fourth) both with 10.41. These was a nice return to form by Connor Bond who placed fifth in 10.50, after a quick semi time of 10.36.

As the race unfolded it looked like Azzopardi would take the title, after he appeared to be in control at about 70 metres, but Sebastian Sultana really lifted over the last 20 metres to sprint away from the field.

After the race Sebastian spoke about his plans.

“I try to just focus on myself and work on my execution. It’s a major confidence boost, I knew I could do it but I just had to put the race together. My goal and focus is World Relays and then potentially the Olympics and World Juniors later on in the year,” Sebastian told Athletics Australia.

Jessica Hull unstoppable

One of the races of the championships, the women’s 1500m, went largely to plan. After a lap of sorting themselves out, National 1500m record holder Linden Hall pushed the pace during the middle laps of the race. By this stage the three contenders, Linden, Jess, Georgia Griffith, along with Sarah Billings had broken away. Approaching the bell, Jess sprinted away, building up a decisive five metre gap in just 100m. Over the next 200m, Georgia Griffith was the main pursuer, generally holding the gap. Only in the last 100m did Jess increase the margin, winning in a brilliant time of 4:01.39, lowering her own championship record and clocking her fastest time in Australia.

Mason McGroder #5 Australian U18 all-time at age 15 !

The progression this summer of 15-year-old long jump Mason McGroder has been extraordinary. He had not exceeded seven metres (legal wind) until September 2023 when he leapt 7.05m at the NSW All Schools. He closes the summer now boosting a best of 7.73m and is the fifth best under-18 long jumper in Australian history.

Going into the Australian under-20 championships, Mason had progressed to 7.42m, but was still in pursuit of the World Junior qualifier of 7.56m. But that distance was no trouble for Mason who was on fire from jump three where he leapt the standard with 7.58m. His final three attempts were all over the standard, capped by a remarkable distance of 7.73m. The distance made him the fifth longest under-18 in Australian history behind four athletes who have all won global junior long jump medals - Darcy Roper, Chris Noffke, Josh Cowley and John Thornell.

The Trinity student, who has negotiated injuries in recent years, was previously a triple jump specialist, but is now concentrating on the long jump and 400s.

Lizzy Louison-Roe compiles a massive day and books ticket to Peru

Competing in three events, including the first and last events on the field program, 16-year-old Lizzy Louison-Roe, secured selection in the Australian team for the World Juniors in the high jump. She opened the day with second place in the under-20 triple jump with a leap of 12.91m. It was another world junior qualifier, and she has almost definitely booked herself a place in the Australian team for the triple jump. Shortly after she was into the high jump where after winning the event at 1.75m, she went on to clear 1.85m – an exceptional 10cm win. It secured automatic selection for the world juniors. Late in the day she competed in the long jump where she leapt 6.05m to place fourth.

PB double for Delta

Under pressure early in the under-20 long jump, Delta Amidzovski responded with 6.24m in round four, extending her best to 6.37m on her final attempt – setting a new PB. In the hurdles, she was not fazed by a mid-race fall by a competitor, to clock a new PB time of 13.31.

Other significant wins

Connor Murphy won his first senior national triple jump title with a leap of 16.41m. Connor’s excellent season, both by distance and in key meets, should see him secure sufficient points for the Paris Olympics. It has been 18-years since his father, Andrew, won his 13th title.

It was a double for coach Andrew Murphy when Desleigh Owusu won her second consecutive National triple jump title with a leap of 13.59m.

World Championship medallist, Mackenzie Little won her third consecutive javelin title with her second round throw of 61.85m.

David Tarbotton for Athletics NSW

Image: Sebastian Sultana and Josh Azzopardi men 100m (image courtesy of David Tarbotton)