Media Releases - 1997

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MEDIA RELEASE

8 August 1997

AUSTRALIAN ARCHERS INTERNATIONAL WIN

The Australian men’s archery team today defeated the reigning Olympic champions - the United States - in its final preparation for the World Championships to be held in Canada later this month.

The Australian team of Jackson Fear, Simon Fairweather and Michael Fisher shot superbly to defeat Mexico in the final of the internationally prestigious US National Championships.

But it was the Australian team’s disposal of the champion American team - by one point (244 to 243) - in the quarter finals that paved the way to the final.

The Australian team came fourth at last year’s Atlanta Olympic Games and the US victory has been attributed to new training programs and the introduction of an archery squad to the Australian Institute of Sport to assist in preparing the team for Sydney 2000.

The Australian women’s team also shot well to place third at the US Championships, which were held in Michigan. The women also emulated the Australian men by defeating the highly ranked US women’s team.

Australian high performance manager, Steve Jennison, said the wins were recognition of the improvement among the Australian archers. He predicted the improvement will continue running up to the World Championships.

"We have still got a lot of work to do but it has given us a lot of confidence," Mr Jennison said. "Obviously the things we are putting in place at the AIS and in Australian archery are now starting to flow through in improved results."

The Australian team travels on to Canada in two days time for the World Championships which will be contested from the 18 to 23 August. * * * * * * * Contact:


MEDIA RELEASE

30 July 1997

CONFERENCE FIRST FOR AIS

The Australian Institute of Sport is coordinating the first international conference to tackle the social aspects of being an elite sport person.

It aims to discuss the sacrifices and compromises elite athletes make in their pursuit of excellence and the cause and effect on athletes who measure their self worth on sport alone.

The key note speaker in the three day conference is Prof A. L. Petitpas from the United States who has conducted extensive research on the subject.

Australia’s swimming golden girl, Shane Gould, will address the conference along with Danielle Woodward, canoeing silver medallist in Barcelona and former International Series champion.

Australia is a world leader in developing progressive programs which encourage a balanced approach to sporting excellence. The national Athlete Career and Education program (ACE) managed by the Australian Institute of Sport provides services to some 3000 elite athletes through the state institutes and academies of sport.

The topic is particularly pertinent when one considers the huge number of athletes striving to represent their country in the Sydney 2000 Olympics and who are prepared to give up everything to reach their goal.

National Manager of the ACE program, Deidre Anderson believes the conference will foster a greater awareness of what is required for elite athletes to maintain a balance in their lives.

"International coaches, athletes, administrators and sports scientists will be attending from all around the world and it will be excellent to share views and experiences," Ms Anderson said. "We will be exploring avenues for improving the services we already provide and seeking areas where new services would be of benefit to the athletes."

The conference will be held at the AIS from 7 - 9 August.

Contact: Deidre Anderson on 02 9923 4244, 0412 252 611 or email andersond@ausport.gov.au.


MEDIA RELEASE

23 July 1997

CLEAN SWEEP FOR AUSTRALIAN VOLLEYBALL

The Australian men’s volleyball team, all members of the AIS squad, made a clean sweep of its first international hit out this year when it took on Kazakstan in the Ansett International Volleyball Challenge this week.

In a 4 match series the Australians were impressive particularly around the net where the dominance of Western Australian Dan Howard was overwhelming. Australia won the series 4-0.

Although Kazakstan grew stronger as the series progressed, winning one set in the final match, the home side was always able to counter the visitors’ pressure.

This is the first time the team has played an international series since relocating to the AIS in Canberra this year and the first coached by former Italian professional coach and player Stelio DeRocco.

DeRocco said his side had gained valuable experience from series and it was clear Australia was improving internationally.

"Kazakstan were formerly one of the top teams in the old Soviet Union and in 1993 were second in the Asian Championships after defeating World Top 10 powers Japan and China. Three years ago they wiped the boards with us," he said.

"Their volleyball background is strong and they are again preparing for World Championship Qualification later this year after a couple of years in the doldrums so the importance of the win should not be underestimated."

DeRocco said it was obvious that Australia’s development program was going ahead strongly, with several young players impressing in their bid to make the senior national team.

He was particularly impressed with Howard’s performance likening him to professional Dutchman Bas van de Goor.

"I have no problem predicting that Dan will become an exceptional international middle hitter. He has the class of van de Goor and will go a long way," DeRocco said.

He felt the series was extremely valuable for his squad because they had not played in competition for a long time and he was able to experiment with different systems and players.

"For many of the players, it was their first international experience and really shook the cobwebs out. It was a great start to our preparation for the Asian Championships to be held in Qatar in September."

Following the Asian Championship the team will be aiming to qualify for the World Cup in qualifying matches scheduled for December in Uzbekestan.

Contact Margaret Pierce on 06 214 1476 or 018 486 293


MEDIA RELEASE

23 July 1997

ARCHERY AIMS FOR GOLD IN SYDNEY 2000

The Australian Institute of Sport today presented its archery squad and new national coach along with details of the Olympic Athlete Program (OAP) as the Australian squad prepares to leave for the World Championships later this month.

The AIS squad currently comprises female athletes with the emphasis on improving technical skills, while the OAP provides opportunities for the internationally ranked men to gain important overseas competition.

The AIS squad - which initially aims to improve the women’s skills with an eye on the teams medals in Sydney - has only recently been in full training under new AIS and Australian coach, Korean Ki-Sik Lee. Mr Lee, who has coached the World Champion Korean Team for 16 years is enthusiastic about the current situation in Australian archery.

"I hope to continue the good work that already exists at the AIS and cannot see any reason why the women shouldn’t perform well at the World Championships in Canada next week," he said. "Australia has many steps to take in the build up to the 2000 Olympics but we certainly have much talent here to develop the base for international success".

AIS director, John Boultbee also agrees, the women are quite optimistic about improving their rankings and the men are looking forward to bettering their 4th position in Atlanta, last year, he said.

The AIS squad comprises Melissa Jennison, Kate Fairweather, Deonne Bridger, Marianne Reickmann, Kate Hammond and Michelle Trevelling.

Male archers are coming to the AIS facilities for brief periods of intensive training under Mr Lee. The OAP squad comprises Jackson Fear, Matt Gray, Michael Fischer, Scott Hunter- Russell and Simon Fairweather.

Both teams will be competing in the US Nationals and will leave on July 30, before taking part in the World Championships in Victoria, Canada.

For more information contact:

Allan Yates   Steve Jennison
AIS Media and Public Relations   AIS Archery
(06) 252 1207   (06) 252 1284
018 632 951

MEDIA RELEASE

14 July 1997

AIS MOUNTAIN BIKER LEADS THE WORLD

AIS mountain biker Cadel Evans has won a second stage in the Grundig/UCI world cup series in Vail, Colorado, and now leads the world in both the open and U23 divisions.

Jerome Chiotti of France took the lead from the start and Evans and his Diamond Back teammates stuck close behind in a large group. Michael Rasmussen, Denmark, made an early move but Evans was content to let him go, feeling comfortable that he could cover the break later in the race.

AIS coach Damian Grundy said it was a long race and Cadel had to make some difficult decisions. "If it had been two top riders that got away early, perhaps Cadel would have had to go with them, but he felt good and was confident of reeling Rasmussen in towards the end," Grundy said.

Going into the last lap Rasmussen led by 55 seconds when Cadel began the chase on his own. By the final climb Evans had passed the Dane and looked extremely strong coming into the finish to win by 1.5 seconds.

Only seven points separates Evans and his main rival, Frenchman Miguel Martinez. With two more races to go in the series Grundy thinks the winner will only be decided in the last race in Annecy, France.

"Cadel’s consistency has been such throughout the series that even if he had a bad race in the penultimate race in Houffalize, Belgium, Martinez would not make enough ground to put Cadel out of contention," Grundy said.

Grundy believes Evans’ preparation was a key factor to his powerful win. He said the race was run above 8200 ft often up to 9000 ft. Cadel had competed in one race at altitude earlier in the year and had been training in altitude since racing in Quebec several weeks ago.


MEDIA RELEASE

3 July 1997

AIS WOMEN CYCLISTS KEEP IN TOUCH

 

Three AIS riders were in the main group at the finish of Stage One of the Giro D’Italia Femminile yesterday.

Elizabeth Tadich of Victoria was the best of the Australians coming in 15th while Charlotte White, NSW, Lyn Nixon, WA, and Hayley Huch all featured strongly.

Queenslander Juanita Feldhahn, recovering from a stomach bug two days earlier lost roughly 3 minutes. Olympian Kathy Watt, still carrying a niggling hamstring injury, suffered more through breathing difficulties in the hot and dusty conditions causing recurring asthma problems.

On the men’s tour, Marcel Gono was a casualty of the weather in the prologue of the Rheinland Pfalz 6.5km time trial in Koblenz.

Gono, a time trial specialist and one of the shining lights in the AIS cycling program, started as one of the last riders because of his fast times and had to ride in the wettest conditions. Gono ended up in 19th place.

The ZVVZ-Giant AIS team is on a three week break and will resume racing on 28 July in Germany. Jay Sweet, Matthew White and Nick Gates have returned to Australia and are available for interview. The three will training together on the Gold Coast from 7 to 18 July.

* * * * * * *

Contact Margaret Pierce 214 1476 or Gayle Wills 214 1714.


MEDIA RELEASE

1 July 1997

EVONNE CAWLEY ASC'S NEW SPORTING AMBASSADOR

Australian tennis legend, Evonne Goolagong-Cawley, is to become a sporting "ambassador" in a bid to encourage more Indigenous children to become involved in sporting activity.

The Minister for Sport, Territories and Local Government, the Hon Warwick Smith MP today announced that the former Wimbledon champion has signed a contract to work with the Australian Sports Commission as a consultant on Indigenous sport.

Mr Smith said that Ms Cawley will visit Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities as well as being closely involved with encouraging, advising and actively assisting Indigenous children into sport.

"The Government has put in place a $4 million a year Indigenous Sport Program and has integrated the relevant programs of the ASC and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission in a bid to ensure we are providing our Indigenous communities with every opportunity to get into - and get something out of - sport," he said.

"Ms Cawley will work under the integrated program to encourage more Indigenous children to get involved in sport. I am delighted that we have such a highly regarded sportsperson working with us on this important initiative."

Under the consultancy, Ms Cawley will have three key responsibilities.

Firstly, she will work with National Sporting Organisations to provide the sport input into the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation's evaluation of the status of reconciliation in Australia.

Secondly, she will use her obvious role model' appeal by visiting communities, addressing school groups and meeting with ATSIC Regional Councils.

Thirdly, she will head up the Evonne Goolagong Sports Trust to obtain corporate and community donations for Indigenous sport. The Trust will be established through the Australian Sports Foundation, which has been recently revamped by the government to make it a more visible and accessible means of raising tax deductible donations for sport.

"While our Indigenous Sport Program reaches most of Australia's Indigenous communities, it alone can not overcome the great deficiency in programs and facilities, particularly in isolated communities," Mr Smith said.

"The Evonne Goolagong Sports Trust is a means of obtaining this additional support in a practical hands-on way that will benefit Indigenous sport and we believe all Australian sports."

"Ms Cawley has indicated that she intends to devote most of her time to the consultancy and looks forward to visiting Aboriginal communities and raising interest in sport among both athletes and all community members." Mr Smith said.

She has already been interested in such activities through the Search for a Star' tennis program.

"Sport is a great means of building individual and community pride and of reducing idle time which otherwise leads some Indigenous children into trouble." Mr Smith said.

* * * * * * *

Contact: Margaret Sutherland Minister's office Tel (06) 277 7080

Mobile 0419 238 754

Allan Yates ASC Tel (06) 252 1207

Mobile 018 632 951


MEDIA RELEASE

25 June 1997

STRONG START FOR AIS WOMEN CYCLISTS

AIS women cyclists Charlotte White from NSW and Lyn Nixon from WA have started their European season strongly in the Giro del Trentino in Italy.

White finished fifth in a breakaway group of nine in first stage while Nixon followed up with a fantastic second in stage 5.

AIS and Australian coach James Victor said he considered the girls had performed well as they were not used to the extremely demanding terrain in north east Italy.

"The climbs were tortuous and on most days the decents were wet and tricky," Victor said. "The Australian team was very aggressive early in the stage, allowing Nixon to capitalise on her great climbing ability in the harder section of the stage 40 km from the finish."

Nixon, first over the climb, was joined by three Italians and two Dutch riders but she broke away again with one of the Dutch riders less than 6 km from the finish.

"Our training to date has been geared towards a solid strength building block, adapting to the harder terrain and preparing for the torture of racing 12 days non-stop, mostly in mountains," Victor said. "Most of the tour is over very difficult terrain with one stage finishing at a ski resort. The last 9 km is like a wall and I predict the girls will be out of their seats for the whole distance." The next major event will be the Giro d'Italia.

The Australian team final classifications were Hayley Huch (24) Lyn Nixon (25), Kathy Watt (35), Juanita Feldman (58), Elizabeth Tadich (60), Mary Grigson (69) and Charlotte White (72).

Following her ride in the Giro del Trentino, AIS mountain biker Mary Grigson left the team to compete in the second half of the World Cup mountain bike series in USA. She finished 15th after a poor start while fellow AIS rider Cadel Evans continued his success, finishing fourth and returning to the number one ranking in the UCI Grundig world rankings.

Contact Margaret Pierce on 214 1476 or Gayle Wills on 214 1714.


MEDIA RELEASE

23 June 1997

AUSTRALIAN CYCLISTS IN TOP 12 TRADE TEAMS

The young Australian Institute of Sport ZVVZ-GIANT professional cycling team has rocketed into the world's top 12 Trade Teams in international stage wins for the 1997 season, with an outstanding 17 wins so far on the international circuit. With 8 wins from AIS youngster Jay Sweet and 4 wins from Marcel Gono, the young AIS team is rushing towards international prominence.

In the most recent six day International Cycling Race - the "GP Beauce" in Canada - the AIS cyclists finished triumphantly with an outstanding sprint from Jay Sweet, which cemented his eighth win in the second stage of the race.

Another Australian Institute of Sport cyclist, Matt White was successful with a 3rd place in the morning stage which moved him from 7th to 5th overall, overtaking Commonwealth Games Gold Medallist Brett Dennis.

National Road Coach, Heiko Salzwedel is ecstatic with the teams' progress in Canada.

"To move into the top 12 Trade Teams for stage wins on the world circuit this season is an outstanding result. Jay Sweet has achieved remarkable success internationally, and he has been well supported by his fellow team-mates to date," Salzwedel said.

The difficult up-hill 3rd stage of the race has seen ZVVZ - GIANT Matt White maintain his strong position to finish in 6th place. Another Australian cyclist Scott McGrory also featured in the first pack, finishing tenth. AIS riders Damian McDonald, Peter Rogers and Nick Gates finished 13th, 23rd and 31st respectively.

At the completion of stage 4, the AIS ZVVZ GIANTS have finished an outstanding 4th on the general team classification, with Matt White again finishing 5th and Damian McDonald moving strongly through the field to complete stage four in 11th position. Nick Gates was only 4 minutes off the pace (17th) with fellow AIS riders Brett Dennis and Peter Rogers finished 38th and 45th.

For information contact Gayle Willis (06) 252 1714 or Margaret Pierce (06) 252 1476.


MEDIA RELEASE

6 May 1997

AIS ROWERS IN AUSTRALIAN TEAM

AIS rowers Jane Robinson and Gary Lynagh are the latest to be selected in the Australian rowing team following the second day of the Australian rowing selection trials at Penrith today.

They join Rob Jahrling and Stuart McRae who were named on Sunday as the men's pair combination.

Robinson combines with former AIS scholarship holder Georgina Douglas in the A double scull while Lynagh joins Victorian Anthony Edwards in the lightweight scull.

The lightweight B scull went to Hamish Karrasch of Queensland Academy of Sport (QAS).

The final team selected today was the men's A double scull and the Free brothers, Marcus and Duncan, from QAS won out in a tough contest with AIS rowers Craig Jones and Martin Inglis. Both Jones and Inglis remain for further trials in other events.

AIS pair Nick McDonald-Crowley and David Porzig combined with Burke and Gordon to come second in the morning session in the men's four in 6:15.25. This was the first race of the trials for Porzig and McDonald-Crowley as Porzig was struck down with a gastric complaint on Sunday. However, both are still in contention for selection.

* * * * * * *

Contact Margaret Pierce on 252 1476 or 018 486 293


MEDIA RELEASE

20 March 1997

NEW AUSTRALIAN BOXING COACH AT AIS CAMP

Australia's new national boxing coach, German Bodo Andreass, today announced the Australian team - selected by the Australian Boxing Union - which will contest the Oceania Championships in Papua New Guinea next week.

Andreass said he was pleased with the team, which has just completed a week-long training camp at the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra.

The Australian team is:

48kg Ashley Jaimes (NSW)
51kg Hussein Hussein (NSW)
57kg Rami Elmasri (NSW)
60kg Dallas Gostelow (Qld)
Henry Collins (Qld)
63.5kg Trent Thorley (Qld)
Casey Johns (SA)
67kg Lynden Hosking (Vic)
Damian Dennis (NSW)
71kg Peter Petrou (NSW)
75kg Robert Marinovic (Vic)
Danny Green (WA)
81kg John McDermott (NSW)
Justann Crawford (NSW)
91kg Simon Paterson (NSW)

The Australian boxing team is rebuilding after the Atlanta Olympics with a view to the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. The Oceania squad is relatively inexperienced with only three boxers from Atlanta travelling with the team.

Andreass - who has just taken up his appointment with the ABU - said the AIS camp had given him an opportunity to assess the Australian boxing standards.

"Australia has a strong boxing history and we are keen to continue that with some of these boxers," he said.

"Some of my ideas were a bit new to them but they picked them up and are certainly dedicated to improving themselves individually and as an Australian team."

Andreass comes to the Australian coaching job after stints as national coach in Germany, Nigeria and South Africa. His fighters have collected two Olympic silver medals and a World Championship silver as well.

He was a former German Democratic Republic champion in the 71kg Middle Weight division and also has a Physical Education degree from the University of Liepzig,

* * * * * * *

Contact:

Allan Yates
AIS
(06) 252 1207
Ron Pengelly
AIS
(06) 252 1715

MEDIA RELEASE

27 January 1997

AIS TAKES A GIANT LEAP INTO EUROPE IN 1997

The Australian Institute of Sport road cycling squad - following an outstanding 1996 road race season - has merged with a leading European team to further the development and international experience of its squad members in 1997.

The Giant AIS squad - which excelled both in Australia and overseas in its inaugural year of 1996 - has merged with the former Husqvarna trade team in a move which has already raised its international ranking and promises a bright future for both the AIS riders and the Giant squad.

The new team will be called ZVVZ-Giant Australian Institute of Sport Cycling Team.

In a major coup, the new team has already recruited internationally-known German star Jens Voigt - winner of the 1995 Commonwealth Bank Classic among other international road races - as one of its lead riders.

The merger will see the combined team move from 32nd position on the International Cycling Federation rankings to the low 20s, while Australia finished in 12th place on the international road rankings, largely as a result of the AIS performance.

The AIS and Australian head coach of road cycling and mountain bike, Heiko Salzwedel, said the Giant AIS team had enjoyed a tremendous 1996 with victories in Australia and overseas and the new team will allow the AIS riders to take on the world's best.

"What this means is that the Giant AIS team will be entitled to compete in more major races in 1997," Salzwedel said.

"Australia's climb through the international rankings is a tribute to the Giant AIS riders and has attracted major interest among the European trade teams."

Salzwedel said the merger between the Giant AIS team and a European based trade team will mean a much higher profile for the AIS riders and their new team mates.

"It will have two advantages - first we will be much more competitive against the powerhouse European teams and secondly the merger will offset the cost cutting which we have had to undertake following recent funding cuts here in Australia," he said.

"What it will mean for the riders and the AIS is a greater opportunity to perform on the world stage and gain international experience as a genuine competitor to the traditionally strong teams."

The ZVVZ-Giant/AIS team will compete in more than 130 races on five continents during a hectic 1997, including some of the world's leading road races.

The Giant AIS team performed extremely well in 1996.

NSW-born Nick Gates won Australia's toughest road race - the Commonwealth Bank Classic -supported by the AIS team. Gates also won the Australian road championship.

In addition the AIS riders performed well overseas, winning the Tour de Langkawi in Malaysia and picking up several stages on a number of European Tour events including the prestigious Tour de l'Avenir (France), Postgirot Open (Sweden), and in Germany's biggest road race, the Rheinland-Pfalz Tour.

"Our riders are becoming recognised worldwide, and this merger will see the Giant AIS team ready to take on the world and do well in 1997," Salzwedel said.

* * * * * * *

Contact:

Heiko Salzwedel
AIS
0411 136 075
Allan Yates
AIS
(06) 252 1207
018 632 951

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