It is with great pride that we announce and wish well to the 3 SKAAC members that will take on the Commonwealths’ best at the Gold Coast Games in April.
Brad Mathas will represent his native New Zealand in the Mens 800m following his 7th New Zealand National 800m title in a row and his qualifying run in Canberra in early February (1:46.44).
Luke Mathews underlined his class with a commanding performance to win his 3rd National 800m title in a row in 1:45.90. Luke will also contest the 1500m at the Games having logged an A-standard qualifier and getting the nod from the selectors. In a program tailor made for Luke, the 800m is scheduled first in Gold Coast.
Joseph Deng, at 19 years-of-age, stunned the athletics community with his imperious run in the B-Final at Nationals, catapulting himself into an A-Qualifier in running 1:45.71. This was a run that would have secured Bronze in Glasgow and ranks Joseph into the Top 10 in the Commonwealth. The selection path wasn’t an easy one for Joseph, having to withstand a protest on his selection, which was dismissed by Athletics Australia on Tuesday evening in Melbourne.
It would be remiss not to acknowledge the coaching that has taken these 3 athletes to the Commonwealth Games. To Liz Mathews to get Luke to the position he finds himself in after a tumultuous year in 2017 is nothing short of sensational and a testament to her skills and knowledge of athletes to peak at exactly the right time.
Justin Rinaldi has contributed so much to 800m running in this country and has developed a squad that is gathering international attention. Justin deserves every accolade for having provided Brad and Joseph their first National senior team selection.
It is surely a great time to be a part of SKAAC and there will be plenty of SKAAC interest in the Gold Coast Games that is for sure!!