Michelle Jenneke: SI Swimsuit Model Rivals Katherine Webb in Sports World

Ryan RudnanskySenior Writer IFebruary 15, 2013

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 16:  Michelle Jenneke (R) of NSW celebrates with 2nd placegetter Abble Taddeo (L) of NSW after winning the Womens U20 100m Hurdles Final during day three of the Australian Junior Athletics Championships at Sydney Olympic Park Athletic Centre on March 16, 2012 in Sydney, Australia.  (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)
Matt King/Getty Images

The Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue has always done a good job of combining modeling with the sports world.

In this year's edition, SI gave us Katherine Webb and Michelle Jenneke.

Webb, the girlfriend of Alabama quarterback A.J. McCarron who was first spotted (or gazed at) by commentator Brent Musburger, is a legitimate threat to cover model Kate Upton for the cover of the Swimsuit issue next year.

But SI made the right choice in getting Jenneke to grace its issue as well.

The Australian hurdler became an instant YouTube sensation after doing a sexy dance before a heat for the 100-meter hurdle at the 2012 IAAF World Junior Championships in Barcelona. While she ultimately finished fifth in the event's final, she became a star online.

In SI's video profile of Jenneke, the 19-year-old talked about enjoying the "technical" aspect of hurdling and said she was thrilled about being asked by SI to appear in the Swimsuit issue.

She even did her famous dance alongside Swimsuit issue editor (and big fan) MJ Day.

The Swimsuit issue has propelled the careers of famous athletes and sports celebrities off the field for years. While Webb and Jenneke were both popular before the shoot, the Swimsuit issue figures to increase their chances of assimilating themselves into other industries, such as modeling and acting (as was the case for Upton).

It's yet another example of the Swimsuit issue's reach across the globe. It's become more than just an issue—it's become a sensation that can instantly thrust someone into the spotlight, from the sports world to the entire world.

Jenneke is not only a famous athlete now, she's a celebrity and a pop culture phenom. The buzz that surrounded her before has only grown. While Webb has attracted considerable attention herself, Jenneke will certainly stand to benefit from her appearance in the Swimsuit issue this year.