New Zealand’s shot put wonder-kid Jacko Gill set a world junior record with a massive 23.00m in a special attempt on the record.
Eighteen year old Gill, who has won the last two world junior (Under 20) titles as a 15 year old (2010) and as a 17 year old (2012), had been keen to grab the junior record for some time to complete his dominance in the event. His previous personal best and New Zealand U/20 and U/19 6kg record was 22.54m set at the Millennium Stadium two weeks ago.
The world record with a 6kg shot was previously 22.73m held by German David Storl, who two days earlier, retained his world senior championship title in Moscow. Now, Storl has had the only world record he held, set in 2009 ripped away from him by Gill, who competes for the Takapuna club. As a world record is required to undergo a high level of scrutiny, it may take some for the performance time to be ratified by the IAAF.
Injury forced a change to Gill's plans for 2013. Initially he planned an attempt to qualify for the World Championships in Moscow, but a longer than expected rehabilitation meant he was short of time for that attempt, and he changed his focus for the year to setting a new World Junior record. That change of plans has paid huge benefits and now Gill now holds all the shot put age group world records and best performances.
Gill has been troubled by a foot injury and a couple of other niggles this year but shook off his concerns to complete a clean sweep of the world age-group records.
"I gave up a lot for this record [like last year's] Olympics and it maybe doesn't mean so much to other people but it means a lot to me because I've now got all the world age-group records,'' Gill said.
"I've trained for two years pretty much consistently with the 6kg shot to get this mark so it really does mean a lot to me.''
Now he will turn his attention to the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow next year.
"Commonwealth Games means a lot to me so I really want to do New Zealand proud there and get a medal.''
Gill will likely look to meet the qualification mark for the Games with the 7.26kg senior shot in December and didn't rule out attempting to add to his junior mark with the 6kg implement in the next few months.
Gill’s is the second world junior record held by a New Zealander. Javelin thrower Gavin Lovegrove held the world under 20 Javelin record for a short time in 1986.