Kolesnikoff eyes Nairobi 2017

Fiji Sun - - 2016 Melanesian Athletics Championship - JUS­TINE MANNAN jus­tine.mannan@fi­jisun.com.

It was a clean sweep in the Un­der-18 Men’s Shot Put for Aus­tralia in the first day of the 2016 Me­lane­sian Ath­let­ics Cham­pi­onship at the ANZ Sta­dium in Suva yes­ter­day. Gold medal win­ner Alexan­der Kolesnikoff threw a dis­tance of 16.55 me­tres, Jack Red­mond came sec­ond (16.12) and Liam Gart­lan set­tled for bronze (15.49). Kolesnikoff said win­ning gold has boosted his con­fi­dence as his main goal is to make it to the World Youth Cham­pi­onship in Nairobi, Kenya, next year.

“It feels re­ally good to have won gold be­cause I have worked re­ally hard in the last cou­ple of months,” Kolesnikoff said.

“This is a real con­fi­dence boost for me be­cause I had a cou­ple of shock­ers in the Na­tional Cham­pi­onship back home but this is bet­ter and I am happy with my re­sult.

“I was re­ally con­fi­dent I would do re­ally well which is my main fo­cus, I was not too wor­ried about win­ning a gold medal.

“It wasn’t the medal that mat­tered it was more of the fact of dis­tance be­cause I am hop­ing to get to World Youth Cham­pi­onship.

“I was ini­tially aim­ing for 17 me­tres but I just missed it and it’s al­right it’s just a step to­wards qual­i­fi­ca­tion at the Youth Cham­pi­onship next year.” The 16-year-old from Syd­ney, New South Wales knows the im­mense task ahead of him if he wants to stand a chance of com­pet­ing at Youth Cham­pi­onships. “I need to work much harder now and fo­cus on the lit­tle bit which al­ways mat­ters and judg­ing from my per­for­mance in the Me­lane­sian Ath­let­ics Cham­pi­onship, I know what I need to work on,” he said. “I have been tak­ing part in shot put since I was about 10-years-old but I didn’t be­come se­ri­ous about it un­til four years ago.

“It was good to have an all-Aussie win and it is good to see other coun­tries as well and see how they throw and place my­self where I think I can get to and where I am now.” The 2016 Me­lane­sian Ath­let­ics Cham­pi­onship fin­ishes to­mor­row. Edited by Osea Bola

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