Above: Georgia Hulls (169) racing at the Potts Classic on her home track in Hastings. Photo by Mark Roberts.
National Under 20 400m champion Georgia Hulls is among a crop of very exciting young female sprinters in New Zealand. Here the former World U18 and U20 representative from Hastings AC takes time out to answer our Five Minutes With questions.
What is your best athletics quality?
I am a huge perfectionist and also an extremely competitive person, which can become both my best and also my most unhelpful athletics qualities!
Why do Athletics?
Besides the physical advantages of being fast and strong, I also like how athletics is such an individual sport and talent based, so whoever crosses the line or jumps the furthest invariably wins.
Who was your first coach and how have they helped?
My first, current and only coach is my Dad (Dean Hulls) and having both the coach/athlete and father/daughter relationship has had both massive advantages and disadvantages. It’s easy to say that we both wouldn’t be at the stage we are now without each other.
What are your athletics weaknesses?
I have always had a passionate dislike of block starts and the first 15m. This is the weakest part of my race which is probably why I don’t like it!
What is the funniest thing seen on a track?
Although I’m well-known for my post-race hugs I have seen some spectacular belly flops in the steeplechase from collegiate athletes.
What is your favourite track session?
My favourite session would be 16x100 (with 100m recovery) because it always feels like you’ve done something worthwhile.
What is the greatest thing witnessed in an athletics stadium?
At the 2015 World U18 Championships I saw Candace Hill (the American sprinter) run a cruisy 22.43 at the age of 16! At the same competition, I was falsely disqualified then reinstated in the semi Ffnal and had to run a race on my own. The stadium, which had a capacity of 35,000 stood and cheered and did a Mexican wave. I don’t think they quite knew what was happening, but that moment has stuck with me ever since.
Who is your toughest rival?
I’ve been racing Lucy Sheat since Colgate’s and she has become a great rival and friend. I couldn’t have done what I have achieved without her.
If you could star in another sport what would it be?
I do prefer individual sports, but I’ve always enjoyed hockey which would please my dad because he is from a hockey background.
What is the most important item you take to meet in your suitcase?
From my first trip representing New Zealand, the team manager told us to always keep our spikes and uniform in our carry ons and I’ve done it ever since.
What is your greatest regret?
At the 2014 Australian Junior Champs, Sally Pearson (the 2012 Olympic and 2011 and 2017 World 100m hurdles champion) gave me a signed bag and at the time I didn’t know who she was, so I left it in the hotel. She is a phenomenal athlete and such an inspiration I wish I had kept it.
Who is the person you most admire?
My grandmother Jean Hulls (nee Adamson) ran for England and she still runs to this day. She is the reason I started running and I think of her every race when I’m in the starting blocks. Other athletes I admire are Jessica Ennis-Hill (2012 Olympic hepathlon gold medallist) and closer to home, Ella Nelson (Australian sprinter) and Eliza McCartney.
What is your biggest fear?
For some reason injections have always terrified me, but with each blood test it is now becoming easier.
What is your Favourite movie and why?
The Harry Potter and Star Wars series. I watched these movies on repeat when I was growing up and they have always been special to me.
When was the last time you looked at medals?
I keep my medals in a box with my race numbers in my closet. I look at the race numbers from time to time but I don’t sit down and look at the medals