Competitor Diary

Mitchell Watt talks about studying, sleeping and sprinting - IAAF Online Diaries

Mitchell Watt of Australia competes in the Men's Long Jump Final on Day 8 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium on August 4, 2012 (Getty Images)Mitchell Watt of Australia competes in the Men's Long Jump Final on Day 8 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium on August 4, 2012 (Getty Images) © Copyright

Mitchell Watt will return to domestic competition at Newcastle’s Hunter Track Classic on 2 February. It’s his first visit to the region and he is also exploring new ground in other areas, including maybe improving his 100m personal best of 10.31.

“Hello all. Happy New Year. I’m training well, I’m doing stuff I wasn’t able to do at all in 2012. My body is a lot better;  I'm getting a lot more done in training.

“I’m not sure how I feel about that. On the one hand, it’s really nice being able to get things done. On the other, it’s a bit frustrating when I think ‘where was this 12 months ago’. But I need to let go of that now and focus on 2013.

“For the first time in a long time I’ve able to do everything in training, but one thing I’ve learned is to not get ahead of myself. I’ve got to make sure I keep on doing all the right things and not fall off the path in next few months. Certainly I’m a long way ahead of where I was this time last year. Compared with last year, when I was in no shape to compete domestically, now I’m doing it right from the start and excited to get going."

“That’s exciting because it’s a World Championships year. The World Championships have been good to me: a bronze and a silver the two times I’ve been. I’m excited by the chance to go one better, but there are a lot of things to do, a lot of boxes to tick before then, but from the Olympics to now, it has gone very well.

“Since I last spoke to you I’ve bought a house in St Lucia, near the university and the track, near the river. I collected the keys on 4 January, but I probably won’t move in until after World champs, just to keep things a bit restrained because there’s a lot happening at the moment.

“That’s been very exciting, there are lots of things to do, people to call, deliveries to organise. It’s the first time I’ve ever felt excited about money going out of my account.

“I’m still studying hard although, as expected, the novelty has worn off a bit. But it feels nice to be progressing towards my degree. Between university, training, organising stuff for the house, I can assure you I fall asleep extremely quickly at night.

“The Hunter Track Classic organisers were pretty keen to get me there, and now I am glad they approached me. I’ve never been to the Hunter, or Newcastle. I’ll probably jump off 10 steps, which is half my normal run-up. I’m looking forward to going, but not jumping off my full approach there means there won’t be too much pressure or nerves.

 “After that I probably won’t jump again until the Sydney Track Classic on 9 March.

“The Hunter will be a warm-up for Sydney, which will be a warm-up for the IAAF World Challenge meet in Melbourne and then the nationals. I only need a B-standard to get into the team, due to my result at the Olympics and our team policy.

“That fits in nicely with my exams, which are at the end of February."

"To be honest, study is a bit more challenging than competing, I love training, but studying in the library all day doesn’t really float my boat."

"But I can see the light at the end of the tunnel on my degree, so that’s keeping me going."

“The other thing I’d like to do domestically is a couple of 100m races. It’s something else to focus on and obviously running fast is beneficial to my long jump.

“I’ll do the first couple of races on the Gold Coast, but I’m not sure I want to fly around just to do a sprint. I don’t want to sacrifice training days to go and run but I’d like to bring down my time a bit, challenge myself with something a bit different.

“My best time would get me a spot on the 4x100 relay team, but that’s not really a goal of mine. Plus, the boys did a great job in London, equalling the Australian record and making the final. Our team looks like it should be good for the coming season.

“They’re mostly young and will be around a few more years yet. If I was asked, I wouldn’t say no, but I’m not looking to bump one of the guys off the team.