The Maurie Plant Meet – Melbourne is the premier invitational high performance athletics meet annually held in Melbourne.
The meet is a World Athletics Continental Tour Gold meet which accrues Category A points for World Athletics Rankings. As a World Athletics Contintenal Tour Gold meet, the Melbourne Track Classic is the most prestigious one-day meet in Australia. This includes:
- A minimum US$200,000 in prize money
- A minimum of 15% of the athletes participating in the meet will be from outside Oceania
- In at least 12 of the events, a minimum of 3 athletes from the Top 50 in the world (3 per country basis) to participate
- An expectation from World Athletics of at least 3,000 spectators at the meet
The meet is conducted by Athletics Australia.
The Maurie Plant Meet – Melbourne in various forms dates back to 1988 and has been known by a number of names throughout its history as the premier Melbourne athletics event of the domestic season. These include: NEC Classic, Nike Track Classic, Melbourne Track Tour, Telstra A-Series and Melbourne Track Classic. The current naming rights sponsor is Chemist Warehouse.
The meet was renamed in 2023 after colourful Australian athletics identity Maurie Plant, who died in 2020.
The 2023 Maurie Plant Meet was the top meet in Australia in 2023 according to World Athletics Rankings, a mantle that the Melbourne meet has achieved on 9 occasions since such records commenced in 2001.
The event has been hosted at Lakeside Stadium since 2012, excluding 2017 when the Nitro Athletics Series was instead conducted, and 2018 and 2019 when no high performance meet was held in Melbourne. The 2012 edition of the event was held over two days, and also served as the selection trial for the Olympic Games. Prior to this, the meet was conducted at Australia’s spiritual home of athletics, Olympic Park, until the venue was demolished in 2011.