Triple jumper wins gold with 13.5m leap

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Gore triple jumper Andrew Allan has received a golden boost in the lead-up to his first international competitions next month.

Andrew (16) upgraded the bronze medal he picked up as a 15-year-old at last year’s New Zealand Track and Field Championships to gold in the U18 triple jump in Hamilton recently.

He was the only athlete to jump more than 13m.

“The next best jump was 12.91m, and I jumped 13.54m,” Andrew said.

He also competed in the U20 triple jump where he picked up a bronze medal.

It was not a one-off, with Andrew taking a record at the Otago Southland secondary school championships.

He added 8cm to the triple jump mark set in 1999 with a jump of 13.61m.

It had not been all smooth sailing as he has been fighting sore shins.

“I hadn’t had a good jump since January [before the NZ Track and Field Championship],” he said.

The injury forced Andrew to look at his technique.

Andrew would use the recent boost for his first time competing overseas in the United States.

The athlete signed up for the trip having already achieved the standard to qualify.

He was expecting several challenges in competing in the US including the different climate and facing a lot more competitors.

“Not having my coach [Lance Smith] there will be a big thing so I will have to coach and prepare myself,” he said.

He would complete three triple jumps and a long jump at three events in Los Angeles.

The events were the Arcadia Invitational, The Bryan Clay Invitational and the UC Santiago Invitational.

Andrew expected the competition to provide a good learning experience as an athlete.

Athletics coach Lance Smith said Andrew’s work ethic was what put him above the average athlete.

“Talent is one thing, but commitment, attitude and eagerness to learn is what separates the athletes from the champion athlete,” he said.

“At training he doesn’t wait for me to tell him what to do, he tells me what he needs doing to overcome a weakness, or tells me what he can do to improve.”