Jacko Just A Whisker From The Olympics

Posted by on Dec 05, 2011 | 3 Comments

Sixteen-year-old Takapuna Grammar shot put sensation Jacko Gill has taken his most significant stride yet towards an historic appearance at the London Olympic Games.

Jacko and his pet shotput Dent.

Jacko and his pet shotput Dent.

The Kiwi athletics prodigy tonight shattered his own New Zealand senior record and surpassed the Olympic selection qualifying standard at a special shot put challenge held at North Shore ‘s Sovereign Stadium, at the Millennium Institute of Sport & Health.

With the competition held specifically to further Jacko’s cause, the Auckland youngster responded magnificently with his first throw of the evening.

In just his third serious competition with the senior shot put (7.26kg), the world under-18 and 20 world champion made his most emphatic statement yet that he is ready to step into the brightest arena in London next year.

With his first throw of the evening Jacko nailed a stunning 20.38m, surpassing both the New Zealand Olympic qualifying distance of 20.30m and his own senior national record of 20.01m, set in April.

He also extended the world-best marks for the senior shots he holds for both the 16 and 17 years brackets.

He failed to go near to his big first throw with his next five attempts, but showed he was far from done for the evening when he returned, after a short break, to smash his own New Zealand junior (under-20) record twice in a separate competition.

He threw 22.10 and then 22.31m to easily beat his previous mark of 21.34m.

The Olympic qualifying distance doesn’t guarantee Jacko selection for London, but as veteran track and field coach and administrator Dave Norris noted, it puts one foot on the plane.

“It almost guarantees his nomination – the final decision will be up to the selectors,” said Norris,

Jacko said last night he wanted to throw further but was happy to have gone past the Olympic selection standard. “I’ll take it. I’ve still got six months [training] through to the Olympics and I think I can do well there.”

Jacko will have a crack at two more special marks over the next two Mondays at the Millennium venue, with world records in his sights for the under-20 (6kg) and under-18 (5kg) shot.

– stuff.co.nz


  1. al says:

    well you’re sure going to have alot of people cheering for you from little ‘ol Devo ! fantastic.

    ps nice to see a shot putter with a nice persona …

  2. Bond says:

    My Dear Chapulator,

    Are you sure you should be giving so much press to this young fellow? It looks like he’s getting frightfully big-headed about it.

  3. GB says:

    Many kudos to you Jacko!..saw you on the tv las night, wicked dude!..another proud Devo family!. 🙂

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