Dubai heat should help Ho­bart sprinter

Mercury (Hobart) - - SPORT - JAMES BRESNEHAN

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.”

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