Thomp­son aims to com­plete fam­ily dou­ble

Kapi-Mana News - - SPORT - By DAVE CRAMP­TON

Whitby triple jumper Anna Thom­son is off to Raro­tonga shortly for her third con­sec­u­tive Ocea­nia re­gional cham­pi­onships.

This time she could re­turn as the Ocea­nia open cham­pion, af­ter com­ing sec­ond and third in pre­vi­ous years.

Over the past 18 months Thom­son, who has just turned 19, has been try­ing to break the 12m bar­rier. She fi­nally did it at the na­tional cham­pi­onships in March, grab­bing a na­tional un­der-20 ti­tle in the process.

The jump also put her third in the open rank­ings. ‘‘That was a good day – I did a lit­tle cel­e­bra­tory jump af­ter­wards,’’ she said. ‘‘If I hadn’t jumped over 12m, I may have quit.’’

Her 12.06m mark would have been a Welling­ton age grade record had it not been slightly wind- as­sisted, and would have won her the Ocea­nia Open ti­tle last year.

Should Thom­son be suc­cess­ful in grab­bing an Ocea­nia open ti­tle in a fort­night’s time, she will be the sec­ond per­son in her fam­ily to do so, af­ter older brother Scott won the un­der-20 triple jump in 2011 and the open ti­tle in 2013.

Their Mana Ath­let­ics Club coach and fa­ther Richard Thom­son com­peted in the shot put at the 1996 Ocea­nia cham­pi­onships.

Anna, who joined the Mana club at 5, usu­ally trains six days a week, in­clud­ing gym ses­sions, and said hav­ing her fa­ther as coach had ben­e­fits.

‘‘He ac­tu­ally cares – and he can see how I‘ m go­ing to im­prove down the track.’’

This may be her golden year. She is aim­ing for a leap of 12.5m in calmer and warmer Raro­tonga weather.

‘‘That’s def­i­nitely the rea­son you go – for the con­di­tions, and to have fun with the team.’’

There is an­other rea­son she is aim­ing for 12.5m, apart from a vir­tu­ally cer­tain ti­tle.

‘‘ Once you start jump­ing around 12.5m it opens up scholarships in the States. I think I can go close – my train­ing is go­ing re­ally well.’’

How­ever, while a 12.5m jump would have placed Thom­son among the top 20 teen triple jumpers at the last world ju­nior cham­pi­onships, in 2012, it is well short of the tough 12.9m dis­tance re­quired to com­pete in the event – a stan­dard so dif­fi­cult a New Zealand woman has yet to qual­ify. ‘‘World ju­niors is like kind of out of the pic­ture,’’ Thom­son said.

‘‘Only three New Zealand com­peti­tors have [ever] qual­i­fied for world ju­niors – all male,’’ Richard Thom­son said.

‘‘The qual­i­fy­ing stan­dards are so ridicu­lously tough. They‘re just non­sense.’’

Anna’s long-term goal is to rep­re­sent New Zealand at the 2022 Com­mon­wealth Games.

Most triple jumpers peak in their mid-20s.

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