Mitchell Watt

Olympic year starting to build momentum for Mitchell Watt - IAAF Online Diaries

Mitchell Watt improves to 8.44m in Melbourne (Getty Images)Mitchell Watt improves to 8.44m in Melbourne (Getty Images) © Copyright

With training picking up, travel arrangements made and competitions pencilled in, Olympic year is starting to build momentum, says Mitchell Watt


Training is going really well since last time we spoke. Everything has been progressing nicely both on and off the track.


My flights are booked, my competitions are pretty much locked in and we’ve also sorted out accommodation in Europe; Steve Hooker and myself have booked apartments together in Cologne, so that’s a fair bit of pre-Olympic organising done.


I’m having a lighter week this week while we do some testing stuff – such as flat-out 60s and 120s, and some jumping.


It’s been a good couple of days for my confidence, I set myself a few goals in my own mind about where I wanted to be at this point and I hit those goals.


It was a little bit daunting in that I haven’t tested myself 100 percent for quite a long time. I did it once around Christmas time, but I didn’t pull up that well. So this is probably the second time since Daegu.


It’s unusual for me to go that long without (coach) Gary (Bourne) having a stopwatch on me or measuring stuff in the pit. I was even a bit nervous, which is good in training. It was nice to get that out of the way and get a better picture of where I’m at. I’m happy with how it went.


We’d always planned a big period of training between our Olympic trials and leaving for competition. Last year, I went to Shanghai for the Samsung Diamond League in early May and then in May-June before I went to Europe had a really big training block.


We’re trying to do that again, so that in the last couple of months before I go away I work hard, refine things, make sure I’m confident for my first competitions. I’ll be able to start working on my run-up, which I haven’t done until now, so that makes me very pleased.


Our training group has had a bit of success lately with Henry Frayne’s silver medal at the World Indoor Championships.  Henry has worked pretty hard since he got back from Daegu. It’s a testament to our coach Gary (Bourne) that his style and training program have worked for another person as well. I’m as happy for Gary as I am for Henry.


I wasn’t surprised when Henry came out and did 8.20 in Sydney (on 18 February). I did an interview with Matt Shirvington the day before the meeting he asked me what Henry would do. I said I thought he would go 8.20.


Because he’s has been travelling and competing, the last couple of months we haven’t done a lot together. Through this block now, neither of us will be competing, so it gives a good chance to train together.


I am also hoping my other training partner Chris Noffke jumps the A-standard. He was in great shape until a slight injury set him back, so it would be awesome for him to join us.


Our whole training group has a good relationship. It’s definitely competitive, but also very friendly. We all like to beat each other at training, but we have a lot of fun along the way. I think that’s the way it should be.


Since my last diary I was also officially named in the Australian Olympic team. This will be my first Olympic Games so it was a very proud moment. I can’t wait to get over there. There’s still a lot of work to do but I am enjoying my training a lot.


I’ll be starting my competition build-up in New York at the start of June. Gary will be there for that and then all the way through to the Olympics.


I think Gary (Bourne) has been at all but one meeting I’ve competed in the past few years. It’s great having him there. He is very relaxed - whether you’re on a massive high or struggling a little bit, he remains super-composed. When I broke the Australian record (in Stockholm last year) he didn’t get too excited because he knew job wasn’t done yet.


He doesn’t get carried away and he’s always got the bigger picture in mind. Hopefully he’ll have plenty to cheer about in London.


Mitchell