Games in his sights
Scott Thomson has made the jump from New Zealand champion to Oceania champion, literally.
The 19-year-old triple-jumper from Whitby was one of just 12 Kiwi athletes that attended the Oceania Regional Championships, held from June 21 to 23 in Samoa. He blitzed the field to take home the gold medal, although his winning distance of 14.39 meters was well down on his personal best of 14.72m.
‘‘I was coming out of a New Zealand winter and it was hot in Samoa, not humid but still 30 degrees. It was my first overseas competition, so a new experience for me, and I was super stoked to win.’’
What made his achievement more special was he did it on his birthday.
The 2010 national secondary schools champion came second at the national champs in Dunedin earlier this year and is focused on taking over the number one spot. His architecture studies in his first year at Victoria University test his time management skills, but the A-grade student would dearly love to represent his country at Commonwealth Games or Olympic level.
‘‘I’m getting there but there’s a long way to go – you’re probably looking at 17 metres as the mark I have to get to. I’ll keep pushing the boundaries though, training hard and what I need is more competition like at the Oceania level.’’
One of the difficult aspects of being a senior triple-jumper these days is not having the high number of secondary school events he could attend in his Aotea College days. This winter will see Thomson doing a lot of running, fitness work and weight training as he builds towards the new season.
At the height of summer, he will be training six days a week and competing both days in the weekend. Thomson is also a keen highjumper, holding the Aotea College record, but triple-jump will always take precedence.
The Mana Athletics Club member has been doing athletics since he was five but only triplejumping touch, volleyball and cricket since he was 12.
The event is a family affair for the Thomsons, with dad Richard Scott’s coach, while sister Anna also competes.
Lucky shoes: Scott Thomson’s spiked track shoes will be getting plenty of wear and tear in the coming months as the Whitby teenager looks to build on his successful Oceania championships.