TEEN IN FOR MORE HIGHS

Townsville Bulletin - - SPORT - LIAM BUT­TER­WORTH liam. but­ter­worth@ news. com. au

PUSH­ING through the pain that threat­ened to de­rail his track and field dream, Townsville’s Bren­ton Fos­ter is still aim­ing high.

High jumper Fos­ter, 17, flies to Mi­ami to­day with the 22mem­ber Aus­tralian team to pre­pare for next week’s IAAF World Youth Cham­pi­onships in Cali, Colom­bia.

The bi­en­nial track and field cham­pi­onships for ath­letes aged 17 and un­der, which will this year fea­ture 1237 ath­letes from 153 coun­tries, has long been one of Fos­ter’s goals.

His qual­i­fi­ca­tion was sealed in April with a sec­ond leap of his per­sonal best of 2.09m in­side six months but his prepa­ra­tion took a ma­jor hit in the fi­nal six weeks af­ter he tore his quadri­ceps at the Ocea­nia Cham­pi­onships in May.

It heav­ily re­stricted his abil­ity to train for a month and he was hit with a dou­ble blow two weeks af­ter re­turn­ing when he in­jured his an­kle.

Fos­ter thank­fully man­aged to land his pre- de­par­ture re­quire­ment of 2.04m at a meet in Bris­bane be­tween the in­juries but the teen ad­mit­ted there had been times when he ques­tioned what he was do­ing.

“Get­ting those in­juries,

it was re­ally hard to think that I’m not go­ing to do as well as I had hoped, or that I wasn’t go­ing to push my­self through the in­juries,” he said.

“It did re­ally suck and I started to not try as much at train­ing and there was about a week where I was think­ing ‘ I don’t even want to do this any­more’.

“I’ve been in­jured ahead of events be­fore a few times and you al­ways push your­self through and with your par­ents’ help and coach’s help you can get out there and do your best.”

De­spite still car­ry­ing the an­kle in­jury, Fos­ter will push through the pain and still has set his sights on fin­ish­ing as high as pos­si­ble and try­ing to reach his goal of 2.15m.

“It’s go­ing to be a lot harder to push through the pain in my an­kle and hope­fully it set­tles down and is fine by the time I get over there,” he said.

“But I’m still def­i­nitely hop­ing to get top- eight and make the fi­nal and ev­ery­thing.

“It would def­i­nitely be great to do that.”

Fos­ter will con­tinue a strong his­tory of Townsville ath­letes com­pet­ing at ju­nior ath­letic events in re­cent years, fol­low­ing ham­mer thrower Robert John­ston in Barcelona in 2012 and sprinter Bradley Edwards at Ore­gon in 2014.

The Wil­liam Ross State High School Year 12 stu­dent will com­pete at 1am Aus­tralian time on July 17.

Pic­ture: WES­LEY MONTS

FIGHT­ING PAIN BAR­RIER: Townsville high jumper Bren­ton Fos­ter is head­ing for the World Youth Cham­pi­onships for track and field event in Colom­bia.

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