IGS athletes ready for international test
A TALENT-rich Ipswich Grammar School athletics team heads to China this week expecting rain to enhance the challenge of competing on the international stage.
However, they are well prepared to not only represent their school and Ipswich but also give their all for Australia at the International School Sport World Schools Championships in Wuhan.
IGS finished fifth the first time they represented Australia at the 2011 event in Poland.
Athletes Brenton Sefo Wallace, Kiemarli Blair, Frank Kuresa, Joe Deng, Fred Walker and Jack Scheurle became the country's number one boys team for the latest championships after winning the national qualifying event in Adelaide late last year.
"They are quiet boys but very excited,'' IGS team manager Alex McArdle said.
"It's been a big build-up. Right back from mid-year last year has all been towards reaching this point.''
Having IGS competing for Australia is a massive honour for the proud athletics school and Ipswich's sporting reputation.
The boys received their uniforms last week in readiness for the competition involving 30 countries.
Under the team format, each boy will compete in one field and one track event, with points tallied similar to a pentathlon or heptathlon competition.
"It's what 20/20 is to cricket,'' McArdle said, explaining the compressed international event requiring a lot of skill and team work.
"You get to cover a number of different events with a number of competitors.''
It culminates with the unusual Swiss relay where runners compete over legs of 100m, 200m, 300m and 400m.
None of the current IGS boys were in the 2011 team.
However, McArdle was part of Ipswich Grammar's team which placed so highly four years ago.
"We are a little bit wiser and more experienced this time,'' McArdle said.
"We know what to expect.''
Despite wet weather forecast in China, McArdle said IGS were ready to give their best when they fly out Thursday night to make final preparations for competition starting on Sunday.
"It won't affect us too much,'' McArdle said.
"The boys have been working really hard, fine-tuning their performances.''
While IGS forms "Team Australia'' for the boys competition, six girls from Pymble Ladies College in Sydney will also compete for their country.
The Ipswich Grammar School team representing Australia in China this weekend (with their events) are:
- Frank Kuresa: 110 hurdles, shot put
- Fred Walker: 400m, long jump
- Joe Deng: 800m, triple jump
- Jack Scheurle: 400m, long jump
- Kiemarli Blair: 100m, long jump
- Brenton Sefo Wallace: 100m, shot put.
The boys will also contest a Swiss relay (100m, 200m, 300m, 400m).