Long jumper Mitrevski gives Australian athletics boost ahead of Paris

olympics15 April 2024 06:07| © Reuters
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Chris Mitrevski © Gallo Images

Australian athletics hailed the prospect of another Olympic medal contender after long jumper Chris Mitrevski smashed his personal best at national championships over the weekend.

The 27-year-old's winning jump of 8.32m in Adelaide earned him a ticket to Paris and marked him as a solid chance for a spot on the Games podium.

The jump would have earned bronze at the Tokyo Olympics, where Greek Miltiadis Tentoglou took gold on count-back after jumping 8.41m.

"I didn’t know what an 8.30 jump felt like because I’ve never done it before, but it felt better than anything I’ve ever done. I just had so much time in the air," said Mitrevski, whose previous best was 8.21m.

"I had a pretty good nationals a few years ago where I scratched the surface and started to believe that I could push for a medal and not just be a number.

"I hope this is a step toward consistency and jumping even further."

Mitrevski was among the first 14 track and field athletes named on Australia's Olympic team on Sunday.

Australia took a women's high jump silver and bronze medals in the women's javelin and men's decathlon at the Tokyo Olympics but the nation is aiming higher at Paris after last year's successful world championships in Budapest.

Australia finished Budapest with a record haul of six medals, bettering the previous best of four.

Former high jump world champion Eleanor Patterson and Nicola Olyslagers, who took high jump bronze at Budapest, joined Mitrevski in the first 14 picks, along with world silver medal-winning race-walker Jemima Montag.

Tokyo Olympics 800m finalist Peter Bol, who was investigated and cleared of doping last year after failing a drug test, was also included on the Paris team.

Bol placed second in the 800m at the nationals behind 20-year-old Luke Boyes, who finished just outside the Olympic qualifying time and was not included.

World champion Nina Kennedy and fellow pole vaulter Kurtis Marschall, who won a bronze at Budapest, are expected to be named in the team once they fulfil a minimum quota of competing at domestic events.

Marschall suffered a sprained ankle when he fell awkwardly on his pole during the national championships and will miss the opening events of the Diamond League season starting in China this week, Athletics Australia high performance chief Andrew Faichney told Australian Associated Press.

"The X-rays showed no bone damage. It's a whole lot better than it might have been," Faichney said.