Tag Archives: Abbey Caldwell

Abbey’s off to the Paris Olympics

FROM THE Doncaster Athletics Track to the Stade De France, Warrandyte’s Abbey Caldwell gets her chance to compete at the 2024 Olympic Games.
The 22-year-old had her ticket to the Paris Games confirmed in April as part of the first intake of athletes for Australia’s track and field team, locked in for the 800 metres scheduled to commence on August 3.
A silver medal at the 2024 Australian Athletics Championships put the final flourish on her selection in a steady rise for Abbey, one of the country’s premier middle-distance athletes.
The Warrandyte local now has a deserved opportunity to make her dash at glory in the pinnacle of her sport, but she told the Diary that it might take some time for it all to sink in.

“I feel like it hasn’t properly sunk in yet.
Certainly, finding out the news was a euphoric feeling.
There was a lot of emotion in that, and I couldn’t stop the happy tears.
That feeling alone was exciting, but then it was like, that’s in August, so I had to switch the mindset.
I’m hoping that when I get into the athletes village and experience being in that environment, it will sink in, but at the end of the day, we’re going over to compete and be at our best.
It’s still a very long road of training and life beforehand, but it’s nice to have an exciting future goal and not necessarily chasing anything or waiting to qualify.
I’m just enjoying the ride at the moment, knowing there’s an exciting time ahead.”

At just 22, the star’s running exploits already stack up as one of the most impressive in the travelling Aussies’ squad.
A famous bronze medal at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in the 1500m lives fresh in the mind, but since then, Abbey has continued to elevate herself.
A World Athletics Cross Country Championships mixed relay bronze in early 2023 added to her medal collection, and since then, it’s been a procession of smashed PBs.
As holder of Australia’s second-fastest women’s 800m time (1:58.48), Abbey comes into the Games ready and raring to make an impact, and she’s drawing on her experiences on the big stage when setting her sights on her Olympic goals.
But it’s a goal in two as she explains that walking away with nothing left in the tank would be reward enough.

“I think ultimately the goal is to go in and make the final,” she said.
“It’s very much easier said than done because there are three rounds of running before the final.
“It’s a long road, but I think setting that goal came off last year at the World Championships, missing out on the final in the 800m by .02 seconds.
“I think that’s made me want to make it there.
“But if I can walk away from the Olympics and say that I put it all on the track on the day, I enjoyed the experience, then I know I’ll be happy.”

Abbey departs for Europe shortly to kickstart her road to the Games, with several races and a six-week training block taking prime focus for the newly minted Olympic Australian.

“I’ll get over there and do three or four races across a few different cities.
“We have a training camp in Saint Moritz,” she said.
“That will all take about six weeks, and before we know it, we’ll be heading into the staging camp, which will be in Montpellier.”

A well-known face around the area, Abbey’s athletics journey began 17 years ago at Doncaster Little Athletics Club, marking the beginning of a steady progression through the ranks.

“I was pretty much just like any other kid being thrown into sport.
“I dabbled in basketball, tennis, Auskick.
“I ended up at Doncaster Athletics Track on a Saturday morning and really enjoyed it.
“My brothers were both around there.
“I think the Little Aths environment was really healthy, and I was fortunate to have a good age group, which made it enjoyable.”

Abbey added the social side of the athletics made a big difference.

“The social component was nice and kept me in sport, and as we progressed through the age groups, it just gradually progressed from starting at Little Aths to participating in school Aths.
“Then it was a state team, and then I made my first international junior team in Year 11, and I thought, this is going somewhere.
“Ever since then, it’s just progressed.”

But as she has stated, it takes a village to support developing athletes, and she points to her family and coach as key influences on her journey.

“I’ve been pretty fortunate; I’ve been with my coach for 10 years now,” she said.
“It’s quite rare in athletics to have that lasting connection with your coach, especially from a young age.
“I wouldn’t be here without the support of Mum, Dad, my brothers.
“They say it takes a village, and it does.
“There are so many people along the way, and having that support is phenomenal.”

Her hometown will also be behind her when the Games are officially unveiled, with the Opening Ceremony commencing on July 26.
The Olympic Games will take place in Paris from July 26 to August 11, and the Women’s 800 metre event is scheduled to take place on August 3 (heats), August 5 (semi-finals), and the final to take place on August 6. The Nine Network will provide coverage of events.
Go Abbey!

Photos: CASEY SIMS, ATHLETICS AUSTRALIA

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Abbey in top form ahead of World Championships

LOCAL GIRL Abbey Caldwell has been in good form recently, racing in the Diamond League competition in Europe.
On July 16, Abbey ran in the Kamila Skolimowska Memorial 800m event in Silesia, Poland, where she finished 5th and ran a Personal Best (PB) time of 1:58.48 — which was not only an Olympic qualifying time but the second fastest Australian female time.
Five days later, Abbey raced in the Herculis Women’s Mile in Monaco, running 4:20.51 and achieving another PB and an Olympic qualifier.
This mile race was also significant because the female world record was run by Kenyan Faith Kipyegon, the third world record she set this year.
Running with some of the world’s best, this is the second race in 2023 in which Abbey has been in the same race as Faith.
The other was in Florence in early June in the 1500m.
In early August, Abbey ran the 1000m at the CITIUS Meeting in Bern, Switzerland. Finishing 1st, Abbey has smashed the 1000m Australian record, running a 2:34.63, making her the fastest Australian woman ever over 1,000 metres.
Abbey’s teammate Linden Hall finished second with a time of 2:35.12. Linden was the previous record holder for the 1000m race, having set the record at Box Hill in 2021, running a 2:35.90.
Coach Gavin Burren was pleased with Abbey’s performances and exposure to world-class races with the world’s best athletes.
Her continual improvement and regular dropping of PBs has been exciting to watch, especially in the lead-up to the World Athletics Championships later this month and the 2024 Paris Olympics.
In the lead-up to the Worlds, Abbey has based herself in Leuven in Belgium and, importantly, now has close family support from older brother Alex, currently residing in London.
Australian female middle-distance running has never been stronger or more exciting, with both Jessica Hull and Linden Hall having outstanding form in Europe and setting Australian records.
The girls continue to push each other, have a genuine competitive friendship, and enjoy each other’s achievements.
The 19th edition of the World Athletics Championships will be in Budapest, Hungary, at the National Athletics Centre. Excitingly, it has been announced that Abbey has made the team and will be running in 800m and 1500m later this month.
Abbey is also now a Puma-sponsored athlete, which has helped somewhat with the enormous cost of training and competing in Europe.
Like many, Abbey began her running journey in grassroots athletics.
For any queries on joining East Doncaster Little Athletics, contact Lisa Williams on 0408 140 461, and for the older athletes, Doncaster Athletics Club president Nathan Down by email on: president@doncasterac.org.au.

Podium Finish for Abbey

CONGRATULATIONS to Abbey Caldwell our new Commonwealth Games Bronze Medallist.
In a rough and tumble race 21-year-old Warrandyte athlete Abbey Caldwell ran the race of her life to finish third behind Tokyo Olympic Silver medallist Laura Muir in the Final of the Women’s 1500m.
Coming into the final 100m after being blocked early and behind the pack with little room to move Abbey ran from four-wide down the outside to finish strongly with a time of 4:04.79 and win her first international medal.
In a post-race interview with Channel 7, Abbey gave praise to her coach Gavin Burren and Team Caldwell who were watching from the stands.
“My support team have been unbelievable – Team Caldwell have been so good to me – I am just so grateful to have those people in my corner, and all my friends and family back home”.

For any queries on joining East Doncaster Little Athletics please contact Lisa Williams on: 0408 140 461.