Bisset and Hall to battle it out over 800m in Brisbane

Damien Stannard |

Catriona Bisset (l) and Linden Hall (r) will square off again in the 800m in Brisbane.
Catriona Bisset (l) and Linden Hall (r) will square off again in the 800m in Brisbane.

They’re calling it the “Quok-off” but teammates Catriona Bisset and Linden Hall are viewing Saturday’s Brisbane Track Classic as an opportunity to add another chapter to Australia’s rich middle-distance folklore.

It was at the corresponding meet back in 2021 when Bisset and Hall became the first two Australian women to break the two-minute barrier in the same 800m race.

They are now training partners in Melbourne under coach Ned Brophy-Williams, and the beating heart of a spirited squad affectionately known as Quokka Track Club.

National 800m record holder Bisset said she was inspired by the squad culture and relished every chance to pick the brain of Hall who is an accredited dietician.

“I’m someone who loves the team environment, so I love having Linden there and we’ve done some great sessions together,” Bisset said.

“We’re great mates and even though the Quokkas banter can be a bit silly it’s a really professional set-up and Linden’s such a great source of knowledge.”

While excited about the prospect of a rare showdown with Bisset, Tokyo Olympics 1500m finalist Hall argued that she was a gate-crasher in the two-lap race.

“The 800m is more Catriona’s race. I’m really just a visitor,” she said.

“But I ran my PB in Brisbane two years ago so that race has a lot of good vibes for me.”

For many, the meet will be a dress rehearsal for the Australian championships, also to be held in Brisbane from March 30.

Australia’s fastest man Rohan Browning, hurdler Michelle Jenneke and New Zealand sub-11 second sprinter Zoe Hobbs are among the  talent seeking to capitalise on a fast Queensland Sports and Athletics Centre track.

But local favourite Naa Anang has a calf niggle and will be sidelined from her assault on the national women’s 100m record.

Boosted by her 10.97-second Oceania record earlier this month in Sydney, Hobbs will be pursued by Queenslanders Ella Connolly, Bree Masters and Torrie Lewis, the 18-year-old with Raelene Boyle’s 54-year-old Australian under-20 record (11.20) within reach.

Browning, who ran 10.05 at the Brisbane Track Classic two years ago, is undefeated over 100m this season and will be confident ahead of a duel with Japanese sub-10 second man Yoshihide Kiryu and New Zealand’s Eddie Osei-Nketia.

Jenneke is set to post yet another sub-13 second mark in the 100m hurdles.