Athletics Australia is today very disappointed to announce the sudden withdrawal of Nia Ali (USA) from the IAAF Melbourne World Challenge.

Less than 24 hours after her entry was confirmed publicly, Ali through her management has advised of her decision not to travel to Australia early this morning and Athletics Australia Chief Executive Officer Dallas O’Brien has expressed his frustration about the choice.

“It is very disappointing, and to be honest frustrating, to hear that Nia has chosen to withdraw from competing at the IAAF Melbourne World Challenge. Wemade the announcement of her start yesterday following regular conversationwith her management and given the lateness of the decision it will be difficult to replace her with an athlete of equal calibre,” O’Brien said.

“For athletics fans the race between Ali and Sally Pearson was a very exciting match-up and I apologise for the fact that it now won’t go ahead at Lakeside Stadium next weekend.

“That being said, the event will still welcome a large contingent of outstanding talent from Australia and around the world. World champions David Oliver, LaShawn Merritt and Eunice Sum and the dual Olympic gold medallist Valerie Adams are committed. So too are more than half of the Australian Flame teamfrom Moscow 2013, including Sally and fellow medallist Kim Mickle, as well as top-eight finishers Kathryn Mitchell and Zoe Buckman. There will be plenty of fantastic events to enjoy and we would encourage all athletics fans to continue to get behind the event as we push towards Glasgow 2014.”

The crescendo of the Australian Athletics Tour, the IAAF Melbourne World Challenge is the only International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) sanctioned track and field meet in Australia.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here