High- calibre jumping
TOWNSVILLE high j umper Josh Hall is leaping his way towards the big bucks.
Hall, 20, is in the middle of a whirlwind $ 430,000 Australian Athletics Tour and already has one victorious jump under his belt heading into the competition’s third round in Melbourne today.
A high-calibre field of competitors, including Australian Commonwealth Games representative Liam Zamel-Paez, have been out-jumped by Hall so far and more success could be on the way.
‘‘ I’ve had two to three weeks of training since the cyclone came along and I’ve been pretty surprised with myself,’’ Hall said.
‘‘ All the best jumpers will be down there and it’ll be good to see where I actually stand.’’
Hall’s best achievement of the year to date was his 2.19m leap a t t h e B r i s b a n e At h l e t i c s Classic meet last month, which acted as the lucrative athletic tour’s opening round.
It was an even more impressive feat considering Hall had torn a hip flexor in the lead-up to the meet.
‘‘ My physio said I’d just done a grade one tear to my hip flexor, but he advised me not to jump,’’ Hall said.
So with no recent competition behind him, Hall went to Brisbane and leapt higher than some of Australia’s best to take out the first competition. Hall then endured the full fury of Cyclone Yasi and as a result endured more disruption to his training.
It hasn’t worried Hall though, who will also compete at the Victorian State Athletics Championships while in Melbourne before gearing up for the Perth final of the Australian tour. That meet will see the winners of each division – sprints/ hurdles, jumps, throws and distance – receive $ 10,000 cash. Athletics North Queensland development manager Cameron Clayton said a vigorous training regime over the festive season had contributed to Hall’s success.
‘ ‘ Josh has been travelling north to Cairns over the break to visit his well renowned high jump coach Tony Rice where he has not only put in the hard yards but has also made some significant changes to his run up,’’ Clayton said. ‘‘ Now that the Townsville Sports Reserve has been re-surfaced I’m confident that Josh will be jumping some new personal bests very soon here in Townsville.’’
For more information on Athletics North Queensland track clubs and competitions call 4721 4998.