5 December 2007

UQ SPORT scholarship holder Catherine Drummond launched herself into Olympic contention on Friday night, setting a new personal best to be ranked equal number one in Australia.

Competing at the track and field All Comers Meet at the UQ Athletics Centre, the 19 year-old Arts/Law student cleared the bar at 1.86 metres, putting her on level pegging with Western Australia’s Ellen Pettitt as Australia’s number one female high jumper.

The performance gives Ms Drummond a great shot at making the Australian Olympic team for Beijing next year, a goal that until last week wasn’t even on the horizon.

“We were initially just focusing on the 2010 Commonwealth Games and the 2012 Olympics, so to have a chance to be at the Olympics next year is unbelievable,” she said.

The Olympic B qualifying standard is 1.91m, with Australia able to select one athlete on a B qualification or two athletes on an A qualification (1.95m).

“My coach Eric Brown and I have been working very hard over the last few months so it is great to see the rewards. There are only three months left until Olympic selections so we’ll continue to work hard and hopefully the results will come our way,” Ms Drummond said.

“Obviously I’d love to qualify for the Olympics but I won’t be disappointed if I don’t make it next year. I’m still very young and have a big future ahead so we’ll just see what happens.”

Importantly, Ms Drummond’s success at the UQ meet qualifies her for travel funding under Athletics Australia, providing her with financial support to compete in national Track Classic and Grand Prix meets.

Media: Stephen Danckert (07 3346 7519, stephend@uqsport.uq.edu.au) or Rachel Hawksford (07 3345 6031, rachelh@uqsport.uq.edu.au) at UQ SPORT