High- cal­i­bre jump­ing

Townsville Bulletin - - Sport - by Michael Thompson michael. thompson@ townsville­bul­letin. com. au

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.

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