Athletics is widely considered the cream of
Olympic sport. From 100m sprints in less than 10 seconds, to marathons ranging 42.2km,
you are sure to find something that takes your fancy amongst the weird and
wonderful world of track and field that makes up 47 events over nine days.
Steeped in the ancient traditions of Greece, track and field
appeals to both purists and the once every four year fans alike. Athletics has
been an ever present in the modern Olympics, ranging back to the first edition
in Athens in 1896 and every edition subsequent. Women first entered Olympic
track and field competition at the Amsterdam Games in 1928.
In Athens 2004, Brazilian marathon runner
Vanderlei Cordeiro de Lima was awarded the Pierre de Coubertin medal (True
Spirit of Sportsmanship) after he was intercepted by a spectator in the closing
stages of the men’s marathon when leading. He recovered to finish third,
winning bronze and legion of hearts and minds around the world.
Leading into Rio, Australia has won 21 gold, 25 silver and
25 bronze in Olympic history, with Steve Hooker’s gold in the men’s pole vault
in Beijing 2008, the most recent success from WA.
Australia will boast 61 track and field athletes in Brazil,
making it the largest section of athletes from any sport for the Australian
Kim Mickle is a world championship medallist and 2014
Commonwealth Games champion. Rio will be her second Games. For both McEntee and
Bol, Brazil will be their Olympic debut.
Mickle confirmed her place for Rio in late July, throwing nearly 60m, despite being just 11 months post shoulder surgery, which was undertaken after she dislocated her shoulder at the 2015 IAAF Athletics World Championships in Beijing, needing a full reconstruction. Her efforts in returning to full strength and fitness have marked her as one of WA's most inspiring athletes.
To follow WA’s track and field athletes, view their bios
below, including information on when they are in action in Rio.