Athletics Titans Clash at the 2024 Maurie Plant Meet: A Showcase of Athletic Excellence and Legacy

Posted by: Watch Athletics

The vibrant city of Melbourne is poised to usher in an electrifying start to the 2024 World Athletics Continental Tour Gold with the Maurie Plant Meet on Thursday, 15th February. This prestigious event not only marks the beginning of an eagerly anticipated series in the athletics calendar but also serves as a poignant homage to the late Maurie Plant, a towering figure in the world of athletics. Renowned for his roles as an agent, promoter, and commentator, Plant's legacy continues to inspire the athletics community. His untimely demise in 2020 at the age of 66 left a void in the sport he passionately served. As the world's elite athletes converge on Melbourne, the meet not only promises high-octane performances but also celebrates the enduring impact of Maurie Plant's contributions to athletics. Join us as we delve into a detailed preview of the event, highlighting the key athletes and competitions to watch in what promises to be a fitting tribute to a legendary sports figure.

John Landy Mile:

The John Landy Mile will feature world 1500m champion Jake Wightman from Great Britain, making his outdoor season debut after overcoming an injury that sidelined him for much of 2023. Wightman, who has an impressive record including a gold at Eugene and medals at the Commonwealth and European Championships, will face stiff competition from Stewart McSweyn and rising stars Cameron Myers and Peyton Craig. Myers, in particular, has made history with his performances, setting age-group records and showcasing his extraordinary talent at a young age.

Women’s 800 Metres:

The women’s 800 metres will spotlight eighteen-year-old Australian sensation Claudia Hollingsworth, who has shown remarkable form by winning the 1500 metres and setting a personal best. Hollingsworth aims to lower her 800m time against a formidable field including Catriona Bisset, Abbey Caldwell, and Linden Hall, making this event highly anticipated for its competitive lineup.

Men’s 800 Metres:

In the men’s 800 metres, Australia’s James Preston is set to compete against a talented field including Joseph Deng, the national and Oceanian record holder, and Riley McGown. After a strong performance in Adelaide, Preston looks to challenge his rivals in what promises to be a closely contested race.

Women’s High Jump:

Nicola Olyslagers, Australia’s celebrated high jump sensation, is set to be the star attraction in the women's high jump event. Olyslagers, an Olympic silver medalist from Tokyo 2021 with a leap of 2.02m, also clinched the world bronze in Budapest with a height of 1.99m and secured third place at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast. She has dominated the Diamond League, securing victories in Paris (2.00m), Lausanne (2.02m), and Monaco (1.99m), and captured the Oceanian record with a second-place finish in Eugene at 2.03m in 2023. Kicking off the 2024 season, Olyslagers matched her personal best of 2.03m in Canberra this past January.

Men’s Discus Throw:

In the men’s discus throw, the competition heats up with Australia’s Matthew Denny and New Zealand’s Connor Bell leading the field. Denny, the 2022 Commonwealth Games gold medalist from Birmingham with a throw of 67.26m, also placed fourth at both the Tokyo 2021 Olympics and the 2023 World Championships in Budapest with a best of 68.24m. His unexpected victory in the Eugene Diamond League final last September, with a throw of 68.43m, underscored his prowess. Bell, however, has bested Denny twice, including at last year’s Maurie Plant Meet in Geelong and again in Adelaide at the World Athletics Continental Tour meeting on 10 February, with a throw of 65.93m, surpassing the 65m mark. The event will also feature notable British competitors Lawrence Okoye and Nick Percy, who have shown strong performances in recent competitions.

Women’s Javelin Throw:

The women's javelin throw promises a riveting showdown with two-time world champion Kelsey Lee Barber facing off against Kathryn Mitchell, the Oceanian record holder and 2018 Commonwealth Games champion. The field is further bolstered by New Zealand's Tori Peeters and Japan's Sae Takemoto, adding depth and competitiveness to the event.

110 Metres Hurdles:

French prodigy Sasha Zhoya is set to headline the 110 metres hurdles. With a stellar junior career, Zhoya has already made his mark by setting a world under-20 record and claiming gold at the European Under-20 Championships. His transition to senior level competitions has been marked by significant achievements, including a sixth-place finish at the World Championships in Budapest. Australian talent Tayleb Willis, along with other notable competitors, will provide stiff competition, making this event a highlight of the meet.

Women’s 100 Metres Hurdles:

The women’s 100 metres hurdles will see Australian athletes Liz Clay and Michelle Jenneke vying for supremacy. Clay, with her remarkable performance at the Tokyo Olympics and subsequent national title, and Jenneke, with her consistent performances, including a semifinal appearance at the World Championships in Budapest, are set to lead a strong field of international competitors.

Women’s 100 Metres:

The women’s 100 metres will feature Australian record holder Torrie Lewis, alongside New Zealand’s Zoe Hobbs, the Oceanian record holder. Their rivalry, along with Lewis’s ambition to break the 11 seconds barrier, adds an exciting narrative to this sprint event.

Men’s 100 Metres:

The men’s 100 metres will be a spectacle with Rohan Browning eyeing a sub-10-second

performance. Browning, who has shown promise with a wind-assisted 10.06 and a personal best of 10.01 at the Tokyo Olympics, will compete against Japan’s Ryota Yamagata and Joshua Azzopardi, setting the stage for a thrilling race.

The event will be aired live across multiple countries around the globe. For details on how to view the Maurie Plant meet online or through television, see our viewing guide here.

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