Mitchell Watt

After best-ever opener, Watt confident as he heads to New York - IAAF Online Diaries

Mitchell Watt improves to 8.44m in Melbourne ( )Mitchell Watt improves to 8.44m in Melbourne ( ) © Copyright
With his first competition for nine months behind him – an 8.21m opener on the Gold Coast - it’s just about time for Mitch Watt to pack the bags for New York, Cologne and London 2012.

"My competition uniform had been sitting in the corner of the room for so long it was good to be able to pack my bags the night before and have a competition to look forward to, even if it was a pretty low-key meeting. The atmosphere wasn’t there, but it was a perfect competition.

"Eight metres 21 is my best season-opener ever. It had been nine months since I last jumped, at the Samsung Diamond League final. I had some injury time and then a careful return.

"I probably haven’t done the volume of training this year I would have liked, but the quality has been good. The last few months I feel like I’ve have been getting better each week, and I still want to keep going along that path.

"So I felt pretty confident heading down from Brisbane to the Gold Coast to jump. The conditions were good, I felt really good in the warm-up. I said to (coach) Gary (Bourne) only about 10 minutes before the competition that I wanted to jump 8.20 and I did.

"I felt a touch nervous, but in a good way. I felt a bit of adrenalin. I’d had good jumping sessions and I was pretty confident.

"I took all six jumps. My body pulled up really well. I had two over eight and I stuffed up a couple as well, but that was to be expected.

"It was an enormous relief, a small competition but I felt really good.

"There was a World junior team camp on and a few of them were doing their pre-departure competitions, so it was quite a decent meeting considering it was a nothing weekend on the Gold Coast.

"There were no negatives out of it. It was pretty much what I needed before heading to the SDL in New York. Now I’m really excited to be going there.

"I leave next Wednesday. It will be the first time I’ve competed in the US anywhere and I’ve never been to New York, so I’m looking forward to the trip as much as the competition. I think I’ll enjoy the travel side. Everyone raves about how good New York is.

"I’ve already got tickets to a Yankees game. That’s all I’ve got planned at moment, but I’ll walk around, do a bit of shopping, and get as much done as I can without tiring myself for the competition.

"It will be the first time I’ve competed pretty much straight off the plane. Usually I have at least a week or so to adjust before a competition, so it will be interesting to see how I go just a couple of days off the plane.

"This is the start of the campaign for London 2012. From New York I go to Cologne, where I team up with Steve Hooker and start preparing well and truly.

"Cologne is one of my favourite places. The weather is similar to Brisbane. There are a few different training options in terms of track and gym. People are friendly. My agent lives there. It’s probably just about the perfect location.

"I’ll be doing three or four competitions before London. After New York, I’ve got three locked in in Europe and possibly a fourth, depending how I’m feeling. I’ll compete at London and Monaco SDL and a long jump-only competition in Germany.

"Until next time,"