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Busy weekend for Australian track and field athletes

30 June 2006

Australians will be competing at home as well as in Ireland, Greece, Indonesia and the United States over the upcoming days in what is one of the biggest international weekends of the year so far.

Melissa Rollinson will be looking to build on her win in Prague last month at the Super Grand Prix "Tsiklitiria" in Athens, GRE on Monday.

This meet in Athens Olympic Stadium, part of the IAAF World Athletics Tour, includes an organised attempt on the women's world record for 3000m steeple (9:01.59 by Russia's Gulnara Samitova, set 4 July 2004 in Iraklio, Greece.)

Rollison, whose 9:24.29 at the Commonwealth Games is world's second best this year, meets Russia's Yekaterina Volkova who ran 9:20.49 for second at 2005 World Championships. Also entered are Lyubov Ivanova, who ran 9:26.54 to become Russian champ on June 12, and Poland's Wioletta Janowska who was second with 9:25.09 in the Athens meet last year.

Tatiana Grigorieva will compete in the pole vault at the same meet.

On Saturday at Cork City Sports, Ireland, Benita Johnson will run the 3000m, a title she won last year; Eloise Wellings will be keen to continue her excellent form in the 1500m, looking to beat her personal best of 4.15 from 7 years ago; Nick Bromley will make his debut European performance in the 800m; Clinton Hill will look for a win in the 400m after finishing second in Gateshead and Huelva; and Scott Martin will return to the shot put circle after showing strong early European season form.

On Sunday Scott Westcott will compete in the Jakarta International 10k road race in Indonesia. Whilst Lee Troop will make his return to the marathon at the Telstra Australian Marathon Championships as part of the Gold Coast Airport Marathon.

Troop will run his first marathon since his failed last gasp bid in Japan last December to make the Commonwealth Games team. Critically, it will be his first injury free marathon in many years and he will run in front of the other four Australians to have run sub 2:10 - Rob DeCastella, Pat Carroll, Steve Moneghetti and Derek Clayton.

Finally, completing a truly global weekend for Australians, Andrew Leatherby will be competing in the Peachtree 10k in Atlanta, Georgia on Tuesday.

Athletics Australia

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