Jacko Gill, competing at the Oceania Championships in Rarotonga today, has had the biggest throw of his career with the senior weight shot put, winning the Oceania title with 20.70.
The big throw improves Gill’s previous best of 20.38, a New Zealand record back in December 2011, by 0.32 and also improves the Oceania championship record by 1.15. Tom Walsh has gone on to raise the New Zealand record to 21.26 in March, placing third at the World Indoor championships.
The Oceania victory also propels 19 year old Gill into real medal contention for the Glasgow Commonwealth Games. He is now ranked fourth in the 2014 Outdoor Commonwealth rankings behind Walsh (21.16), Jamaica’s O’Dayne Richards (20.11) and Canadian Tim Nedow (20.98). Gill’s world ranking for 2014 has jumped from 49th to 21st while Walsh, training in Switzerland, has a world ranking of 10 for the year.
Gill has forgone the traditional European preparation and competitions in favour of training in Auckland and competing locally in his build-up to the Glasgow Commonwealth Games.
Along with Gill’s gold, other Oceania titles have gone to Anna Thomson in the Triple Jump, Georgia Hulls in the 100, Ashley Exeter in the Para discus, Max Attwell in the octathlon and the junior women’s 4x100 relay team.
Silver medals have gone to Matt Dryden, Brooke Somerfield, Caitlyn George, Hamish Dewar, Rosie Elliott and Atipa Mabonga, while bronze medallists have been secured by David Elliott, Ariana Lord, Dale Pritchard, Ariana Blackwood, Hamish Dewar and the mixed medley relay team.
The championships continue until Saturday.