Torrie Lewis, Ebony Lane, Bree Masters, and Ella Connolly break national 4x100m record to secure Olympics spot for Australia

A squad anchored by Australia’s fastest woman Torrie Lewis has smashed the national 4x100m record for the second time this year to claim an automatic spot at the Paris Olympics.

Racing at the World Relays meet in the Bahamas, Ebony Lane, Bree Masters, Ella Connolly and Lewis clocked 42.83 seconds to finish second in their heat behind Germany.

It was the fifth fastest overall time, with the top two in each heat advancing to the final and guaranteeing their places for the Olympics in early August.

“I think we all had a lot of trust in each other, so we said, you know what, let’s just relax, we’ve done the work and we’ve done this a million times,” Connolly said.

“Let’s just go do this and qualify for the Olympics together.”

The same quartet had flagged they were destined for great things by running 42.94 at the Sydney Track Classic in late March, breaking an Australian standard that had stood for 24 years.

Lewis, 19, is also well placed to contest either the individual 100m or 200m in Paris.

The US women were fastest in the Bahamas qualifying round in 42.21.

Australia’s 4x100m men went within a whisker of also claiming an automatic Olympic slot on day one at the World Relays.

The young team of Sebastian Sultana, Jacob Despard, Calab Law and Joshua Azzopardi clocked 38.50, only to be pipped for second spot by Jamaica in a photo finish.

They have another chance to shore up an Olympic berth in the repechage round on Monday (AEST).

“Jamaica have always been such a powerhouse team, so to even be in the same conversation with them is kind of surreal,” Azzopardi said.

“If we run roughly the same time tomorrow, then we should be going to Paris but we will need to execute and run to our full potential.”

If they are successful in that quest, Australia’s leading male sprinter Rohan Browning would be added to the relay squad in Paris.

An American team including world 100m and 200m champ Noah Lyles led the automatic qualifiers in 37.49 — the fastest time in the world this year.

Australia’s men’s and women’s 4x400m squads will contest the repechage rounds in the Bahamas on Sunday.


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Triumph in Flight: Nikithemba Hani Soars to Victory at UUSA Long Jump Championships

Nikithemba Hani, an emerging athletic sensation, recently seized the gold at the UUSA Long Jump Championships and claimed bronze at the ASA Senior Track and Field Nationals, showcasing his extraordinary talent and unyielding determination on the track.

Nelson Mandela Bay, South Africa (13 May 2024) – Nikithemba Hani, a third-year student pursuing a Bachelor of Education in Intermediate Phase Teaching at The IIE’s Varsity College Nelson Mandela Bay, once again ascended to victory at the 2024 University Sport South Africa (USSA) Track and Field Championships.

With a stunning leap of 8.20 meters, Hani not only clinched the gold medal but also reaffirmed his standing as the UUSA Long Jump champion.

The exhilarating competition, held at Coetzenburg Stadium in Stellenbosch in early April, showcased Hani’s unmatched skill and unwavering resolve as he outshone his rivals with sheer brilliance. His triumph not only brought honor to his name but also ignited the aspirations of budding athletes nationwide. However, Hani’s journey didn’t culminate there. He continued to display his prowess on the track, participating in the esteemed Athletics South Africa (ASA) Senior Track and Field National Championships at the Msunduzi Athletics Stadium in KwaZulu-Natal on 18 April. Despite facing fierce competition, Hani’s dedication and grit propelled him to secure a bronze medal while setting a new Eastern Province long jump record.

Reflecting on his performance at the ASA championships, Hani expressed his resolve to leave an indelible mark on the national stage.

“Eager to make my presence felt on the national platform, I was determined to elevate last year’s bronze to a gleaming silver,” he shared. “In the finals, I poured my heart and soul into every jump, aiming high for that coveted 8m mark. When I landed at 8.05m and clinched the bronze, it was a whirlwind of exhilaration mingled with a hint of ‘what if’.”

Hani’s journey transcends mere accolades and records; it epitomizes growth, gratitude, and an unwavering pursuit of excellence. Despite the intense competition and occasional moments of introspection, Hani remains undaunted, leaving nothing on the track and embracing every challenge as an opportunity for growth and refinement.

As anticipation mounts, Hani eagerly anticipates confirmation of his participation in upcoming events in Europe next month and in Cameroon in June. With his sights set on qualifying for the Olympic team this year, Hani’s journey is far from over. Armed with determination and a spirit of resilience, he continues to surpass expectations and inspire a generation of young athletes to dare to dream and reach for the stars.


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