The 18-year-old Tasmanian athlete Jack Hale has set a new Australian Under 20m 100m record, clocking 10.21 seconds at the Junior Gala meeting in Mannheim, Germany.
With a legal tailwind of +1.6m/s in the heat, the effort eclipses the previous record of 10.27seconds set by Trae Williams in March this year. He backed up shortly afterwards to win the final in Mannheim in 10.38 (-0.5).
Incredibly, Hale only stepped off the plane 48 hours ago, after he left Australia on Wednesday to join the Australian team for the camp ahead of next months IAAF World U’20 Championships in Bydgoszcz, Poland.
“It’s a very pleasing result coming straight off the plane. It’s a big PB so I’ve got a lot of confidence moving into the next month before the big one in Poland,” Hale said.
The performance is also a new Tasmanian open men’s record and ranks the Hobart teenager as the equal 11th fastest Australian male of all time.
After spending the past few months preparing in the cold of the Tasmanian winter, Hale puts the improvement down to some technical changes, but admits there is more to come.
“I feel as though stages of the race were perfect today. I’ve been practising that transition to the last 50m and I feel as though I’ll be a new athlete once I freshen up in the coming weeks. Since I landed I’ve been a bit tired, so that makes today even more pleasing,” Hale said.
Hale is currently part of a 55-member Australian Junior team in Germany, with many of the Aussies competing at today’s meet, but confesses it’s all about the championships next month in Bydgoszcz. At 10.21, Hale is now the equal 5th fastest U’20 100m runner in the world this year, despite being only 18 years 1 month of age.
“I’ve always had a big goal in mind to make the final at World Juniors and so far there are no stand out performances and once I’m in the final I feel it is game on.
With the Olympic qualifying time of 10.16seconds literally within reach, Hale will have another opportunity to set the mark next week before the 11th July qualifying period cut-off. However the youngster has said for 12 months that his goal in 2016 was the World Junior Championships and if an opportunity came along to compete in Rio it would a significant bonus.
“I’ve got a lot of time still, 3 weeks to do the time, but limited races. It might end up I do the time after the qualifying period, we’ll see how it goes,” Hale said.