1. Anna Meares
Fresh from her 34th national title on Wednesday night, Meares takes the boards twice over the weekend, looking to add the sprint crown Friday, and her pet event the keirin on Saturday. After an injury plagued few months, Meares is returning to form at just the right time with next month’s World Championships and the Rio Olympics on the horizon. Get along to the Superdrome in Adelaide or catch the live stream online.
2. Bronte Campbell
Swimming sensation Campbell will not disappoint as the mercury is tipped to hit 40 degrees in Perth this weekend, as the Aquatic Super Series at the outdoor HBF Stadium kicks off. All eyes in the season opener will be on 2015 double World Champion. With hip problems behind her, the red-hot freestyler is out to make her mark on the Rio games following disappointment in London four years ago. Tickets and info via aquaticsuperseries.com.
3. Karrie Webb
It’s been a busy week for Barwon Heads on the Victorian coast with the Cadel Evans Race last week (taken out by Amanda Spratt) and this week the Men's and Women’s Victorian Open golf. The headline act is seven time major winner Karrie Webb, but it’s not been plain sailing. A four over score of 77 on Thursday leaves Webb needing to pull out a big round Friday to make the cut. For Webb, 2016 is a huge year, with a Rio gold medal her aim, to complete a remarkable career.
4. Casey Dellacqua
When too much tennis is never enough…..after a Melbourne Park fortnight that saw Sam Stosur depart early, “Dasha” crowned the new Queen of Aussie tennis, and one almighty upset in the final, it’s back to the grind of Federation Cup qualifying for Australia’s elite. No Dasha in Slovakia, but Alicia Molik’s squad is buoyed by the return of Casey Dellacqua following a horrifying concussion sustained in October, that forced the world number three ranked doubles player to miss the entire summer of tennis.
Dellacqua may well be needed in singles too, with Australia facing a huge challenge against a powerful Slovakia team with world No.29 Anna Karolina Schmiedlova joining No.66 Dominika Cibulkova, No.132 Jana Cepelova and veteran former world No.5 Danila Hantuchova. Catch it on 7TWO.
5. Jess Fox
It’s a homecoming for Penrith girl Jess Fox, as the London 2012 silver medallist looks to stamp her passport to the Rio games at the Australian Open Canoe Slalom in Sydney’s west this weekend. Fox, 21, is the overwhelming favourite, but knows that she can’t afford any slip ups this weekend, or in the final selection meet, the Oceania Championships later this month. As well as Fox, the meet in Penrith has a high class field, with athletes from more than 24 nations competing. Entry is free so get along and support Jess!
6. The Jillaroos
The Auckland Nines makes the start of league season, and while for the NRL sides, it’s a chance to give the kids a run, and dust off the cobwebs, for the Aussie national team, The Jillaroos, it’s a test weekend. Australia will face New Zealand at a packed Eden Park. It’s been a whirlwind 12 months for women’s league with this fixture last year kicking off a year of unprecedented coverage and support. Expect it go up a level again, with the intensity of the Trans Tasman test on show once again. Catch it on Fox Sports.
7. Isis Holt
It is Paralympic year and for athletes, that year starts this weekend in Canberra with qualifying targets on the mind. For 14 year old Isis Holt it’s a chance to build on an incredible 2015 that saw the Victorian schoolgirl claim the T35 sprint double in last year’s World Championships in Doha. Holt, who only started competing seriously in 2014, knows what how important this weekend in Canberra is to her year ahead, ““I want to be able to go in and be confident with what I run there. I want to be able to leave there and say I’m happy with that and I’m set for the year. I don’t want to be uncertain at all about what could happen next.” Entry to the AIS Track in Canberra is free! So no excuses to not get along!
8. Ellia Green
Fijian-born Green should light up Allianz Stadium this weekend at the inaugural Sydney Sevens Tournament. It’s the fourth leg on the men’s World Series, with the women playing a 3-game series against Ireland over Saturday and Sunday.
Green catapulted into the international spotlight when she scored an astonishing 80-metre try against Canada in the three-match exhibition series at the Gold Coast Sevens, and within four hours, the try had been viewed over 200,000 times on the IRB Sevens World Series facebook page.
Ellia is a sprinter by trade, having previously represented Australia in athletics at the World School Games in Qatar in 2009 and memorably scored the winning try after the siren against Canada at Twickenham in the Sevens World Series in May 2015.