Mitchell Watt

After striking Olympic silver, Watt now focusing on 2013

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
After winning an Olympic silver medal, Mitchell Watt decides to head home early, buy a house, and build the foundations for 2013.

"I called an end to the season early with a sore achilles. It hadn’t really bothered my since I left Australia in the two months prior to the Olympics, but post-Games, trying to train to stay in shape and with most of the team physios going home, I probably wasn’t doing enough to keep on top of it like I had been before.

"I got to the Birmingham Samsung Diamond League and my achilles tendon was just too sore to jump. I could have pushed through and kept going, but in the end that was just going to make it worse. It’s a shame as I am still leading the Diamond League points race, but nothing is worth an injury that could flow onto next year.

"I know what to do and how to best manage my achilles. If I fly home now it’s probably two months more than I had at the end of last season to make sure that I get it better and get into good shape.

"In 2011 I had a good domestic season and it really set up my entire season – I had jumped over 8.40m twice by May - so I want to try and replicate what I did then for 2013.

"I missed all the official 'welcome home’ functions for the Olympic team, but I’m looking forward to catching up with family and friends. I’ve got a few things to do for my sponsors as well. One major project is to buy a house. Sometime between now and the end of year I’ll be a house-owner, so that’s going to be pretty exciting.

"As far as training goes, I’ll have three or four weeks off and start planning for next year.

"When I reflect on this season, I think I was always catching up. Even in March I was not training anywhere near 100% and in the back of my head, I knew I hadn’t done the work and that showed in results.

"Jumping 8.28m in the Crystal Palace Diamond League, in the wet and cold, gave me a lot of confidence going into the Games. My season’s best was 8.28 and Greg (Rutherford) jumped 8.31 in the final. At the end of the day I think the best man won.

"I definitely feel I could have done better. But, after having a couple of serious injuries since 2010, I am extremely aware that half the battle is getting to the start line having done the work and staying mostly injury free. I said after Daegu that if I could be in London feeling good then I’d be happy. I did that, so I can’t be too disappointed. To walk away with a silver medal at the Olympics is still an achievement in itself. However, combined with my World Championships bronze and silver medals, I think it’s definitely time I start to win something – and that’s what I intend to do.

"Some of the media’s reaction back home to my performance – that I failed – was a bit frustrating. It was my first Olympics, I was ranked sixth heading into the Games after not having a great season, yet the majority of journalists portrayed that something went wrong. I think it’s important for every athlete not to dwell on what’s written in the media, but having finished competing I couldn’t help but notice. Of course I wanted the gold medal, but they’re not easy to get. Australia doesn’t win a lot of track and field medals; I feel we should celebrate our achievements more rather than putting people down.

"Since the Games I got a set of golf clubs and a new bike. These are two things I intend to use a lot of in my time off and before training starts to get crazy again later in the year. I’ve been watching some of the athletics and the English Premier League on TV. I went to Everton v Aston Villa last week, and caught up with a couple of the Australian players on the pitch after the game which was pretty cool. They had watched the Olympics on TV and actually seemed to know a fair bit about it.

"Basically, I’ve been trying to unwind and take my mind off athletics. Then it’s time to get ready for the Australian season and 2013.

"See you soon,"

Mitch