Thursday, May 23, 2024


Mackay and Whitsunday Life

Speed, Strength, and Spirit Mackay Athletes Set To Compete In Fiji

In a sprint towards international glory, six athletes from the Mackay region are set to leap into action at the 2024 Oceania Athletics Championships in Suva, Fiji. These local stars are ready to vault over challenges and race against the region's best.
The 2024 Oceania Athletics Championships will take place from Tuesday, June 4th to Saturday, June 8th, at the National Stadium, HFC Bank Stadium. Suva, a seasoned host of regional athletic events including the 1990 and 2017 Area Championships and the 2016 Regional Championships, is poised to welcome athletes once again. Fiji was also slated to host the 2020 Regional Championships before the pandemic forced a cancellation.

We caught up with five of the athletes at the ARC as they put the finishing touches on their training preparation.

Mikayla Webb, 17
Mikayla Webb is poised to make her mark in the Under 18’s 100 and 200 metres events. With a personal best of 11.98 seconds for the 100 metres and 24.84 seconds for the 200 metres, Mikayla has been dedicated to running for seven years. "I love competing against other people," she shared, expressing her excitement and determination to bring home a medal from the international event.
Toby Rule, 16
Toby Rule will be showcasing his endurance in the 1500 metres, 3000 metres, and steeplechase. Having been involved in running for 7-8 years, Toby is ambitiously aiming for a sub-4 minute 1500 metres and a sub-8:30 minute 3000 metres. His ultimate dream is to compete in the 2032 Olympics in Brisbane. “I’d like to thank the people that got me here, my mum, dad, and my coaches throughout the years,” Toby expressed, highlighting his gratitude and determination to push himself to the limits.
Ngakau Ufton, 19
Competing in the 100 metres, 200 metres, 300 metres, and long jump, sprinter Ngakau Ufton has been running for three years. He aims to break the 11-second barrier in the 100 metres. "The best thing is that it’s just me on the track and I don’t have to worry about other people interfering," Ngakau said. His journey started in high school, inspired by Usain Bolt videos, and now he is ready to showcase his abilities on an international stage.
Kasey Mccahon, 20
Pole vaulter Kasey Mccahon is driven by the thrill and adrenaline rush of jumping high. Originally from Atherton Tablelands, Kasey switched from high jump to pole vaulting after an injury and has loved it ever since. With a personal best of 3.30 metres, she is excited about her first international competition. "It’ll be great," Kasey said, eager to see how high she can soar in Fiji.
Kayce Hoani-Vincent, 17
Inspired by her older brother, Kayce Hoani-Vincent has been pole vaulting for three years. She loves the thrill and the sensation of being in the air. With a personal best of 3.10 metres, Kayce is aiming to reach new heights in Fiji. Her dedication and passion for the sport are evident as she prepares to compete on the international stage.
The Championships will feature competitions in the Senior and Under 18 categories, with the Senior events being crucial for qualification for the Paris Olympic Games and future World Athletics Series Events. The Under 18 Championships will provide a premier competitive platform for younger athletes.
Following the successful debut of the Teams Challenge in 2022, the event will expand to include Under 16 and Under 20 age groups. This format will offer athletes from the highly popular Fiji Schools Championships an opportunity to compete internationally.
Oceania Athletics President Robin Sapong expressed enthusiasm, saying, "It's an amazing opportunity to return to Fiji for the Oceania Championships in 2024.
“With the growth of the Championships and the chances for athletes to secure their qualifying positions for Paris, Fiji will no doubt be a great host.
“The Teams Challenge will be exciting for Fiji school teams to test themselves against the best teams in the region."

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