Dubai heat should help Hobart sprinter
SAM Walker needs less than 12 seconds to qualify for the Paralympic Games in Tokyo next year and the Hobart teenager hopes to tick that box at the world championships in Dubai.
Walker, 17, is building on the reputation that saw him selected as the youngest athlete to represent Australia at a Commonwealth Games when he competed at the Gold Coast Games two years ago.
At the Gold Coast, Walker made the 100m T38 sprint final and clocked 11.80 seconds, which was good enough for sixth place.
The Hobart athlete has left for the Middle East to compete in the 100m sprint and shot put at the 2019 World Para Athletics Championships, which are also the main qualification event for Tokyo.
“I’m hoping to make the final in Dubai and get a PB [personal best],” Walker said.
His 100m PB is 11.75s, which is good enough to get him to Japan.
The temperatures in Dubai regularly hits the 40C in summer months but will be more hospitable in the low 30s for the para competition.
“I actually like running in the heat. I don’t know why, so it will probably help me go a bit quicker,” Walker said.
The shot put is new for Walker.
“I’ve just been doing it for fun,” he said. “In one of my events I did a qualifying throw, about 13m, and so I’m doing that in Dubai as well.
“I’ll be aiming to do a qualifier for the Paralympics.”