No questions about it, athletics is a beautiful sport.
And in 2017, it was captured beautifully by photographers at home and abroad. From our high flying best to the thousands of pavement pounders, here is the top 17 photos from a big 2017 in Australian athletics.
Women's Zatopek:10 on fire
Photographer: Scott Barbour
A fireball sky proves a stunning backdrop to the women's 10,000m race at Zatopek:10 at Lakeside Stadium, Melbourne. Frankston AC's Henrietta Lawrence leads Virginia Moloney, Gemma Maini, eventual winner Celia Sullohern and Jessica Trengove.
Happy athlete, happy coach
Photographer: Shaun Botterill
Dani Stevens shares a special moment with her coach Denis Knowles as the pair celebrate Stevens' silver medal at the IAAF World Championships in London.
Gen the leader
Photographer: Con Chronis
Team Australia captain Genevieve LaCaze lead her team with pride and gusto at the inaugural Coles Nitro Athletics Melbourne in February at Lakeside Stadium. Not only did she take maximum points in her events, it was her vocal and patriotic encouragement for her teammates that earned her the praise of many - a sight not yet seen before in traditional athletics formats.
Anang from above
Photographer: Matthias Hangst
2017 was a breakthrough year for Queensland long jumper Naa Anang, who represented Australia at the IAAF World Championships for the first time. Anang, 22, jumped a personal best at the La Chaux-de-Fonds Résisprint International in Switzerland in August of 6.68m (w+1.9) and finished 13th overall in the long jump in London.
Photographer: Brett Hemmings
ACT's Simon Yung leaps into the sand as three hardworking officials look on ready to record the distance on day 4 of the 2017 Australian Junior Championships at Sydney Olympic Park. Yung took bronze in the U17 decathlon with 5427 points.
Photographer: Mike Hewitt
Australia para-athlete Isis Holt brims with pride inside Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park after winning gold in the women's T35 200m at the 2017 World Para Athletics Championships in July. Holt successfully defended both her two world championships titles in London, winning gold in the T35 100m and 200m.
Gold (again) for Sasha
Photographer: Mark Kolbe
Western Australian youngster Sasha Zhoya grabbed our attention when the then 14-year-old soared over 4.92m in the pole vault to improve both the Australian record and the world best for athletes of his age. But Zhoya didn’t stop there, he then went on to collect five gold medals with victories in the boy’s under 17 110m hurdles, the under 16 long jump and 200m before backing up to win gold in the under 16 pole vault.
Long hair, don't care
Photographer: Mike Hewitt
Alexandra Krope of the ACT proves she isn't distracted by anything as she launches the shot put in the under 15 heptathlon at the 2017 Australian Junior Championships at Sydney Olympic Park in March. Krope finished in 5th place with 3631 points.
A legend salutes
Photographer: Vicki Jones
Legendary Australian sprinter Raelene Boyle joins an illustrious list of Australia's greatest ever athletes as she is named the 39th Legend of Australian Sport at the 2017 Sport Australia Hall of Fame Induction and Awards Gala Dinner in October as athletics commentator and good friend Bruce McAvaney watches on.
Little athletes go bananas
Photographer: Dominic Lorrimer
Fresh off her world championships victory, Sally Pearson is all smiles as she runs a relay leg with a banana as a baton. Sally, little athletes and a tonne of bananas were on hand as Athletics Australia announced a new long-term partnership with Coles earlier this year.
Tiernan takes the lead
Photographer: Andy Lyons
Tall Queenslander Patrick Tiernan takes the lead in the men's heat of the 5000m on day six of the IAAF World Athletics Championships in London. Tiernan came fourth in the heat to qualify for the final, where he finished 11th overall in 13:40.01.
Photographer: Robert Prezioso
Paralympic 100m T42 champion Scott Reardon powers out of the blocks at the inaugural Coles Nitro Athletics Melbourne in February while racing against other star para sprinters including Jarryd Wallace from the United States.
A sea of runners
Photographer: Mark Metcalfe
Runners of all types take over the streets of Sydney at the start of the famous City to Surf fun run in August – amongst the leaders is Australian steeplechaser James Nipperess... as well as a guy dressed as superman.
When Hero met Sally
Photographer: Patrick Smith
Two-time reigning 100m hurdles world champion Sally Pearson is overcome with joy as she holds up the Australian flag while celebrating with popular mascot Hero the Hedgehog.
Photographer: Michael Steele
Australian racewalker Claire Tallent holds up her baby boy Harvey after crossing the finish line of the 20km walk at the 2017 World Championships in London. Tallent placed 43rd just over three months after giving birth.
Photographer: Michael Steele
2015 world championships silver medallist Fabrice Lapierre flies high into the London sky in the long jump at the 2017 world championships with his customary gold necklace in his mouth.
Insane Usain creates history in Melbourne
Photographer: Grant Treeby
Usain Bolt calls out to US sprint star Jenna Prandini in the mixed 4x100m relay at Coles Nitro Athletics Melbourne early in February at Lakeside Stadium. The Olympic sprinting legend from Jamaica was the star of the show in an athletics competition that famously included men competing with and against women in relays.
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