The first day of competition at the 2023 Australian Championships in Melbourne has seen plenty of excellent performances and strong competition.
The Senior Junior and Masters day started with the Riding at Willow Lane Equestrian Centre before the competition moved to Caulfield Grammar School for the Fencing Ranking Round. Both of these fabulous venues are generously hosting the Championships for the second consecutive year. The Victorian State Government is once again a valued supporter of this event.
Senior women’s title
In the fight for the senior women’s title, two athletes (Genevieve Janse van Rensburg (NSW) and Aleska van Heekeran (NSW)) are managing injuries and will not contest the Riding and Fencing (van Heekeran) and Laser-Run events (Janse van Rensburg).
Janse van Rensburg completed the Riding round today 276 pentathlon points, closely followed by Tully Watt (VIC) with 272 pentathlon points.
In the Fencing Ranking Round, Watt had 19 victories and 13 defeats (229 points) giving her a total of 501 points heading into the Fencing Bonus Round, Swimming, and Laser-Run on Sunday. Janse van Rensburg fenced strongly with 23 victories (257 points) for a total of 533 points.
Defending champion, Lanskey, in tight contest with Nicholls for senior men’s title
After the first day of competition, only 9 points separate the top three athletes in the senior men’s title.
Three time Australian Champion Rhys Lanskey (QLD) is currently sitting in second place on 494 points. Lanskey started the day with a fantastic showjumping round taking just one rail for a score of (293 points). Scoring 201 points in the Fencing Ranking Round with 15 victories Lanksey looks set to score strong points tomorrow , having swam a personal best of 2:01:53 in the non-continuous triathle competition held Friday.
Lachlan Nicholls (VIC) and Timothy Oliver (NSW) each overcame some challenges in the ride to scoring 265 and 256 points respectively. Nicholls moved into the lead after a strong fence with 20 victories in the Fencing Ranking Round (236 points) giving him a total of 501 points heading into the Fencing Bonus Round, Swimming, and Laser-Run. Oliver also fenced strongly with 20 victories and 236 points and is in a close third, with 492 points.
Amos Vagg (VIC) had an unfortunate elimination in the Riding but made up ground with 16 victories in the fence (208 points).
Junior talent on show
The junior athletes showed off their impressive equestrian skills, jumping the full heigh of 1:10m in the Riding event.
Junior women, Zoe Addinsall (VIC) and Alyssa Greening (VIC) were tied after the Riding round, each having had strong ride and earning 293 points. After the Fencing Ranking Round, Addinsall leads on 438 points, ahead of Greening on 424 points.
Kian Blanchard in the junior men’s category has a total of 431 after the first day of competition (244 from Riding and 187 from the Fencing Ranking Round).
Under 19 girls
The under 19 girls competition is currently led by Kayla Bongers, who has travelled from Western Australia to compete in the National Championships. Bongers leads on 138 points ahead of Chloe Leen (VIC) on 117 points, ahead of the Fencing Ranking Round.
Victoria Craig, in the masters category, earnt 461 points across the first two events, having ridden well to earn 260 points and receiving another 201 points in the fence with 15 victories.
The Masters. Seniors, Juniors and Under-19 athletes will complete the Fencing Bonus Round, Swimming (200m) culminating with the Laser-Run tomorrow on Day 2 of the National Championships.
Action gets underway at Caulfield Grammar School from 10:30am in what is shaping up to a hard fought battle to see who will be the 2023 Australian Champions.