IN TRAINING: Hard work pays off for young hurdling champ, Emily Authurs. INSET: Taking bronze in the 200m and 400m hurdles in 2018.
IN TRAINING: Hard work pays off for young hurdling champ, Emily Authurs. INSET: Taking bronze in the 200m and 400m hurdles in 2018. Contributed

Homegrown champ heads north for Oceania Athletics comp

LOCAL athlete Emily Authurs is headed to the Oceania Athletics Championships held in Townsville next week (June 25-28) after qualifying for the Australian Regional side for the 400 metre hurdles event.

Emily's dad, Colin Authurs, said they will leave town on Friday and 16-year-old Emily will compete in the U18 category next Thursday.

Emily, who is in Year 11 at Biloela State High School and won their senior sportsperson of the year award as well as age champion for the past three years, is "nervous, but she's keen", Mr Authurs said.

Mr Authurs, who is also one of Emily's two coaches, said his daughter was looking forward to meeting a few Olympians as well, as the event was also an Olympic qualifying meet.

He said there would be more than 700 athletes taking part in the meet from countries including New Zealand, Tonga, New Guinea and Ireland.

While this is Emily's first time representing her country, she has represented Queensland for the 200 metre hurdles in 2017 and she won bronze in 2018 for the Queensland State Schools Championships, also for the 200 metre hurdles.

"She's in Little Athletics and represented Queensland Schools since the age of 11," Mr Authurs said.

"She loves it and she trains every afternoon. She does gym work, and she's got a coach in Yepoon and she trains there.

"And we do a lot of hill running up in the hills at Goovigen."

Mr Authurs said that after next week's event, Emily would concentrate on the State selections for schools which includes events at districts, regionals, and then a state bid to make the Queensland side.

She will also compete in the Little Athletics regional and state championships in September.