The International Track Meet announced an exciting draft programme for this year’s meet, with the headline acts being a new Throws Quadrathlon and the hosting of the New Zealand 3000m Championships for both men and women.
The ITM returns to its successful venue of the last two years, the Upper Field at Christ’s College, in the heart of Christchurch. The date will be slightly later this year, on the 22nd of February, and will also commemorate the third anniversary of the 2011 earthquake.
The 2013 International Track Meet had a more traditional multi-event quadrathlon featuring international decathletes and heptathletes. In 2014 this competition will turn to a specific throws focus, to celebrate the recent and historic success on NZ athletes in those disciplines. Much is made of NZ’s prowess in middle distance running, but from Val Young and Les Mills in the ‘60s through Lovegrove and Faumuina to Valerie Adams today, the throwers have been just as successful if not more so. Headlined by Canterbury sensation Tom Walsh, who broke Jacko Gill’s NZ shot put record twice last month, athletes will compete in four events across two days.
The quadrathlon event will start with the hammer throw, along with qualifying rounds for the shot put and discus, on the evening of Friday 21st at Rawhiti Domain, where admission will be free. The top qualifiers and headline internationals will then progress to the shot put and discus finals at Christ’s College on Saturday 22nd. The final event on the programme in the historic College surroundings will be a 50m sprint – an awesome sight between such big & powerful athletes. Scoring will be based on the IAAF points tables, with the overall winner declared by the best score across the four events.
Middle distance fans will also have plenty to get excited about – NZ’s best domestic athletes will come to Christchurch to contest the New Zealand 3000m championships, which are to be incorporated into the New Balance and Brian Taylor Memorial events for men and women. Organisers are expecting all of NZ’s top middle distance talent, with some international stars added to spice things up at the front end. Event director Paul Coughlan said today “With such a strong field on the small grass track, the tactical manoeuvring will be exciting, and having the crowd so close will create an atmosphere like nothing else.”
Tickets are on sale now at City Council Recreation and Leisure Centres, as well as Shoe Clinic in Riccarton Mall and Smith Sport Shoes. They are also available online at internationaltrackmeet.co.nz/tickets.