Logan local and decathlete Ash Moloney is entering the final stages of his Olympic qualification journey in the box seat for selection.
The former Browns Plains State School student is on the cusp of selection with an Olympic qualifier to his name, and only three competitions to go before Australia’s team for Tokyo is announced.
Last December, he posted an Olympic A qualifier of 8,492 points at the Queensland Combined Events Championship.
That is 100 points more than the Olympic qualifying standard and only 60 points fewer than that of the world record holder, Frenchman Kevin Mayer.
“I’m pretty excited, but I’m not going to count my chickens yet, I’ve got to get in there first,” says Mr Moloney.
“I’ve been wanting to wear the green and gold since I started athletics when I was in primary school.”
The 20-year-old’s coach Eric Brown says the qualifier will secure his spot in the Olympic fold.
“Normally, the Olympic A qualifiers are based roughly between the top 8 to 10 contenders in the world, while the rest are decided on a points and performance countback, so he’s reached that level which automatically puts him into the Olympics providing he competes at nationals,” he says.
“I’m confident he’s going to be in the top 6 at the Olympics based on his performances and his current form.”
Between now and the national championships in April, Mr Moloney will aim to make Australia’s 4x400m men’s and mixed relay teams when he races in the 400m dash at the Queensland Track Classic, March 27, and Brisbane Grand Prix, March 31.
Attention then turns to the national championships at Sydney from April 12-21.
Mr Brown says Mr Moloney is in some of his best form yet.
“I am over the moon with his performances in training and he’s in way better shape than his state and national record and his Olympic A qualifier,” he says.
Earlier this week the Government of Japan announced that overseas visitors cannot attend Tokyo Olympic events due to the risk of COVID-19.
With that, Mr Brown says it is unlikely he will be able to attend to watch Mr Moloney compete, while the athlete’s parents are still coming to terms with the news.
Alyson Moloney already had two bookings for accommodation in Tokyo and more than $5,000 worth of event tickets to watch her son.
“I’m devastated,” says Mrs Moloney. “Tokyo would have been one of the best Olympics.”
“I’m happy if they allow all the Japanese in there and there is a crowd, and if I can watch it all from home and they don’t divert over to the 100 metres or long jump and I miss it altogether – that would devastate me.
“I hope that they put a few more cameras around so that everyone gets to watch what they want to watch.”