April's top 10 sporting highlights
1 May 2017
AOC: As Autumn rolled in and the weather started to cool, our Australian athletes continued to produce red hot results throughout April 2017.
Aussie athletes dominated on the world stage with our track cyclists topping the World Championships medal tally, our athletics relay teams placed third overall at the World Relay Championships, Tess Coady won two Junior World Championship snowboard titles, and Australia secured its first Olympic quota spot for PyeongChang 2018.
Here are 10 highlights from the month of April:
1. Australia tops Track Cycling World Championships
Australia finished the five-day Track Cycling World Championships in Hong Kong with 11 medals – three gold, five silver and three bronze – from seven events, and topped the overall medal tally. Rio Olympian Amy Cure made history by becoming the first person in track cycling history to win a medal in six different World Championship events, while her Olympic teammate Steph Morton celebrated her most successful World Championships campaign with two silvers and a fourth. In his World Championships debut, Jordan Kerby stole the spotlight with his fantastic gold medal performance in the men's Individual Pursuit and Australia charged to a sixth team pursuit world crown in eight years with an emphatic win over New Zealand.
Watch the men's team pursuit gold-medal performance below, thanks to Cycling Australia.
2. Brendan Kerry secures Australia’s first Winter Olympic quota spot
After finishing 15th at the Figure Skating World Championships in Helsinki, Finland, Sochi Olympian Brendan Kerry secured Australia an Olympic berth at PyeongChang 2018. He scored 83.11 in the short program, which was a five-point personal best score, before recording another PB of 153.13 in the free program. Kerry placed 15th overall with a total score of 236.24 points – his third PB for the event.
3. 31 swimmers named for World Championships
Defending world champions Mitch Larkin, Emily Seebohm and Bronte Campbell will spearhead a 31-strong Australian Swim Team at this year’s FINA World Swimming Championships in Budapest in July, after qualifying at the Australian Championships in April. The team will consist of 19 members from last year’s Rio Olympic Team, while 11 swimmers will make their World Championship debuts.
The 2017 National Championships in Brisbane attracted athletes and fans from all over Australia - check out the wrap up video below.
4. Australia third overall at IAAF World Relays
Team Australia finished third overall at the IAAF World Relays in Nassau, Bahamas. Australia had top-5 finishes in the women’s 4x400m and 4x800m relay, the men’s 4x100m and 4x800m relay and mixed 4x400m relay. In the women’s 4x800m relay Lora Story, Abbey de la Motte, Zoe Buckman and Heidi See combined to win bronze and Australia’s only medal for the competition, also securing their tickets to the 2017 IAAF Athletics World Championships in London.
5. Cox and James crowned Athletes of the Year
World Champions Britt Cox and Scotty James were jointly awarded the Australian Snowsports Athlete of the Year Award at the 2017 Ski and Snowboard Awards in Melbourne. The dual Olympic 22-year-olds dominated the World Cup season in their respective mogul skiing and snowboard halfpipe disciplines, both ending the season as the number one ranked athlete in their sports.
James was unable to attend the awards ceremony, but shared his thank you speech in this entertaining video.
6. Australia into Davis Cup semi’s
For the second time in the last 11 years, Australia will progress through to the Davis Cup semi-finals in September. Australia sealed their semi-finals berth after Nick Kyrgios secured straight-set wins over American Sam Querry during the quarter-finals in Brisbane. The team will now play Belgium on their home turf in September, fighting for the elusive Davis Cup title which has not been in Australian hands since 2003.
7. Australia won gold at water polo World League Tournament
The Australian men’s water polo team kicked off their Tokyo 2020 campaign in style at the end of April, winning gold at the 2017 FINA World League Tournament on the Gold Coast. Australia headed into the grand final clash against the US undefeated in the tournament, and held onto their winning streak with an 8-6 victory on home soil.
8. Tess Coady crowned dual Junior World Champion
16-year-old Tess Coady became a dual Junior World Champion in April after she won the snowboard slopestyle and snowboard big air events in Spindleruv Mlyn, Czech Republic. Coady, who made her senior World Cup and World Championships debut earlier in the year was awarded the ‘Rising Star’ award in recognition of her incredible season at the 2017 Ski and Snowboard Australia Awards night.
Check out Coady's big air gold-medal performance below.
9. Top 10 performances and PBs at the 2017 London Marathon
Rio 2016 Olympian Lisa Weightman led the charge for Australia at the 2017 London Marathon, running a personal best time of 2:25.15 to finish in fifth place in the women’s event. Dual Olympian Jess Trengrove was next in a personal best time of 2:27.01, finishing 10th. In the men’s race, two-time Olympian Michael Shelley also placed 10th in a time of 2:11.38.
10. Women’s sevens won bronze at Kitakyushu 7s
With a thrilling come-from-behind 19-12 victory against Fiji, the Australian women’s sevens team won bronze at the Kitakyushu Sevens in Japan. After advancing through the pool stage undefeated, key players Ellia Green, Evania Pelite and Emilee Cherry all sustained injuries on the second day of competion, allowing some of the new faces to step up to help Australia onto the podium.