Saturday, 03 June 2017 13:47

Perth Track Classic to resume in WA athletics coup

Athletics WA has successfully lobbied to have the Perth Track Classic returned to the domestic athletics schedule in 2018.

The launch of Nitro Athletics meant the Perth leg was cut from the Australian program this year, but chief executive Wayne Loxley has been pushing hard to have it reinstated.

January 13 is the date locked in for the Classic at the WA Athletics Stadium next year — earlier than the normal March date — to fit in with the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in April.

Loxley said there would be a slight departure from previous events when they had invested in trying to lure international talent.

Australia’s top athletes, such as hurdling champion Sally Pearson, are expected in Perth in search of Commonwealth Games qualifiers. The event is to be staged a month before the national championships.

It is understood similar events have not been planned in the other States yet, while a date has not been set for the second edition of Nitro.

“At this stage it looks like ours is the only one they’ve committed to,” Loxley said.

“That was really on the back of us lobbying the high performance department to remind them how good the conditions are and conducive to top-level performances.

“The WA sporting public will enjoy watching Australia’s best because they’re the ones who are going to be representing our country at the Comm Games in April. It will be a really exciting local event, based around Australia’s best.”

The highlights are likely to include a showdown between Pearson and rising West Australian Brianna Beahan, the WA-dominated women’s pole vault, middle distance runner Matt Ramsden and possibly javelin star Kim Mickle’s return from a knee injury.

Loxley said there was no commitment on the event beyond next year.