My build up for World Juniors was pretty good but in saying that I had quite a lot of distractions during the lead in with school and various camps. But all and all I was happy coming into the World Juniors with my past couple months of training.
The World Juniors itself was a completely new experience as I haven’t travelled past Australia before, and haven’t really been away from home for a long time. Training over in Canada was good, just concentrating on maintaining strength and keeping speed while improving technique.
The competition was amazing, I have experienced nothing like it before, the people and expectations were like nothing else. At home competition is so laid back and you’re lucky if 30 people are watching you.
Qualifying didn’t go well at all as I fouled my first 2 throws, so it meant I had to produce my 3rd best ever throw with only one attempt left, while my competition had reached the automatic qualifying mark with their earlier attempts. This was not ideal, but I believe I gained a decent amount of experience out of the qualifying round and I learnt from my mistakes. After, I quickly showered and refocused for the final that night. I still felt rather tired and my legs felt sore and heavy but I knew there was no room for getting caught up in my mistakes from earlier that morning.
During my warm up for the final I injured my hand and things were not looking good. I remember walking out to the final and thinking that I was just happy to have made the final at all. I thought a medal, or even top 8, was slowly moving out of my grasp.
But sitting in the call room I made a decision to target the first 3 throws as after that I knew I would have little energy and concentration left, also my injured hand was deteriorating. When I had my first throw I knew I had to stay in the circle and get a decent distance of over 20m, and I did so, which set me up for the rest of the competition. I thought on my second throw that I would have to improve my distance to win the gold but it ended up that my first throw would of won. But my second throw of 20.76m ended up giving me a victory of over half a metre, making me the youngest ever world Junior champion, with the second youngest champion being Usain Bolt.
I couldn’t have achieved anything without my family, friends and my school in Takapuna Grammar, so a huge thanks to them!
At the moment I’m in France having a Training camp with Olympic champion Valerie Vili. We are off to Stockholm for an invitational meeting tomorrow, and after that I am competing in Singapore at the Youth Olympics in August.
Thanks for reading, Cheers.