Rising athletics star keen to make mark
ONE of the country’s finest emerging athletes will take to Barlow Park this weekend for the Australian All Schools Championships.
Sasha Zhoya will be looking to get back to the peak of his performance when he makes his return from injury to represent Western Australia at the national youth athletics competition in Cairns.
The 16-year-old of French and Zimbabwean heritage is a triple-threat track and field star, whose main events include the 200m sprint, 110m hurdle and pole vault.
Zhoya, who will only compete in the hurdle and pole vault events this weekend, said he was excited to be in Cairns.
“I’ve heard good things about Cairns,” he said.
“(Commonwealth Games gold medallist and training partner) Kurtis Marschall told me that jumping conditions are great, which means hurdle conditions are going to be great as well.
“I’m really keen for the comp and should go well.”
Zhoya has garnered nation- al and international attention as the Australian under-18s 110m hurdles record holder (13.24), training under Shannon McCann’s former hurdle coach Jason Moyle.
He has outstanding personal bests in the 100m (10.63), 200m (21.09) and long jump (6.93m).
Zhoya’s pole vault personal best is 5.2m – much higher than the meet’s current record of 4.85m. He trains under three-time Olympian Paul Burgess and Alex Parnov, former coach of Olympic gold medallist Steve Hooker.
Zhoya said getting back into training after the break had been “difficult”, but he was “in a good shape for competition”.
“I’ve been keeping the loads not too heavy so I don’t get my back popping up again, but still at a decent amount so I can get some improvements throughout the season,” he said.
Coach Burgess said he was aware of the region’s recent soaring temperatures.
“It gets pretty hot in Perth, but it’s a different kind of heat,” he said. “It will be a shock to us for sure.”
ON TRACK: Western Australian pole vaulter and hurdler Sasha Zhoya has returned from a break to compete in Cairns this weekend.