Home Australia Teen track star Claudia Hollingsworth’s ‘best day’ ends with Australian Olympic team

Teen track star Claudia Hollingsworth’s ‘best day’ ends with Australian Olympic team

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Nicola Olyslagers runs during a national championship race

Nineteen-year-old Claudia Hollingsworth enjoyed the “best day of her life” as the rising track star earned a national title and a place on Australia’s Olympic team in just a few hours.

Hollingsworth was one of 14 athletes selected for Australia’s Olympic team, with chef de mission Anna Meares present in Adelaide to officially punch his ticket to Paris.

The list also included Matt Denny (discus), Michelle Jenneke (hurdles), Jessica Hull (1,500m), Nicola Olyslagers (high jump), Eleanor Patterson (high jump), Peter Bol (800m), Lauren Ryan ( 5,000 m), Abbey Caldwell (800 m) and Chris Mitrevski (long jump).

A quartet of marchers was also selected, led by Jemima Montag but also featuring Rebecca Henderson, Kyle Swan and Rhydian Cowley.

This announcement marks the first of three waves of selections for Australia’s top athletes, with the final teams not being determined until July, just weeks before the Olympic Games begin.

Claudia Hollingsworth took the national 800m title on Sunday.(AAP: Matt Turner)

Hollingsworth provided one of the highlights of the meet with an incredible run to win the women’s 800m final, recording a personal best time of 1:58.40 and letting a dream come true.

“It’s a dream and a goal for a lot of people, so it was always in the back of my mind as something I wanted to do,” Hollingsworth said.

“So I thought about it a little bit, but I didn’t want to have that pressure. So I only thought about it once I crossed the finish line.

“It’s definitely the best day of my life. Having my family, my friends, my teammates and my coach here is crazy.”

“I’ve reached the peak of what I can do in Australia, so let’s see what I can do overseas.”

Hollingsworth smiled alongside Tokyo Olympian Hull, whose spectacular performance in Saturday’s 1,500m final secured her selection.

“I was standing next to Claudia and I said ‘I can’t stop smiling’ and she said ‘I can’t either!'” Hull said.

“She broke the junior record a few weeks ago and I was floored, because that junior record was so strong. When she broke it, I texted her and told her she was phenomenal.”

Hollingsworth hopes the Olympic experience of athletes like Hull and Jenneke will prove invaluable in Paris.

“It’s crazy. They’ve been so nice already, congratulating me and giving me a hug,” Hollingsworth said.

“I admire them a lot, I think they are stars. I really aspire to be like them. Knowing that they have the experience, I hope I can learn a lot from them in these Olympic Games.”

Hull reached the 1,500m final in Tokyo but his recent form suggests he will aim for even more in Paris.

For now, though, he’s still letting today’s achievement sink in.

“It’s so special that you don’t realize it’s going to impact you like it did. I was tearful, I thought, ‘Oh my God, I’m going to my second Olympics.’

“It’s what we train for, it’s very special.”

Peter Bol hugs Luke Boyes after the 800m final

Luke Boyes beat Peter Bol in the 800 meters final, but Bol was later named to the Olympic team.(AAP: Matt Turner)

Hollingsworth’s success came before a thrilling battle in the men’s 800m, won by 20-year-old Luke Boyes ahead of Bol.

Olyslagers set a new championship record in the women’s high jump, clearing 2.01m in her best performance of the season so far.

Jenneke captured another 100-meter hurdles title with a season-best time of 12.88 seconds, ahead of Liz Clay, who clocked 13.03.

Torrie Lewis claimed the national 200m title, after not participating in the 100m at these championships, with a time of 23.05, while Caleb Law took the men’s 200m national title with a time of 20.54 .

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