11 JUL 2012 General News Barcelona

Delight and disappointment in equal measure for Jacko Gill

Jacko Gill of New Zealand celebrates after winning the gold medal in the men's Shot Put on the day two of the 2012 IAAF World Junior Championships (Getty Images)Jacko Gill of New Zealand celebrates after winning the gold medal in the men's Shot Put on the day two of the 2012 IAAF World Junior Championships (Getty Images) © Copyright
David Storl, if you are reading this, Jacko Gill wants to let you know that your Shot Put World Junior record of 22.73m is living on borrowed time.

To his minor annoyance, the remarkable 17-year-old New Zealander didn't manage to go that far on Wednesday evening but Gill still set a Championship record of 22.20m and he will now bring the curtain down on his outstanding season satisfied with a gold medal but slightly frustrated that he didn't get closer to the German's three-year-old mark.

"The truth is that the main objective was always to get a gold medal, I'm obviously very happy as it's difficult to get a championships gold medal at a major event like this, but I would have liked to have thrown further.

"Four throws over 22 metres was great but I had just a few technical problems, it's difficult to say exactly what they were but training has been going well and I'd hoped to go further.

"I'm a bit disappointed that I didn't get the World record here but I'm also only 17 so there will be other opportunities."

Gill has competed very sparingly in 2012, a sharp contrast to most shot putters, but remains unbeaten after three competitions, his outing in Barcelona being his first for almost four months.

"The circle tonight seemed a bit slippery and some of the rotational throwers, like muself had some problems but for those that used the standard glide so that wasn't as much of an issue."

Revenge and redeemed

"I was hoping to get a personal best (which stands at 22.31m) and I definitely think I've got the World record in me. I'll now have two weeks holiday in Sweden then go home and get training in earnest again, starting out with circuit training, before starting competing again around October time.

"I'll be going all-out to get that record," added Gill, who was born in 1994 and so still has another year in the junior ranks.

"But I'll be mixing up throwing the 6kg shot (the junior implement) with the senior implement and I've only had three serious senior competitions in my life," added Gill, putting to one side the fact that two years ago as a youth he sent the 7.26kg ball out to an astonishing world age-15 best.

"There was also definitely a little bit of revenge in my mind because I'd seen (Poland's) Krzysztof Brzozowski was in the competition. He beat me at the Youth Olympics Games in Singapore back in 2010, after I'd actually won at the World Juniors in Canada. It's a great feeling to beat him.

"When he took the lead in the first round, I thought to myself 'I'm not going to let him beat me again'. It's nothing personal it's just my competitive instinct and he's a fine thrower, after all he got a Polish junior record and the silver medal tonight."

That was one of the pleasing things about the competition. He produced a great throw in the first round and I came back from that in the next round (with his second best throw of 22.19m), that was good for me.

Gill also became the first athlete to get the slightly obscure accolade of having won twice at the World Junior Championships and have a World Youth Championships gold medal as the meat in the sandwich of that particular statistic.

Commonwealth contender

Looking further down the line, Gill wants to be in contention for the gold medal at the 2014 Commonwealth Games, which potentially could be his first major senior honour even though he will still only be 19 when the Scottish city of Glasgow stages the event.

"I really want to go for gold there, that's really important to me. I expect to be up against Dylan Armstrong and a couple of other good Canadian throwers and there's also Dale Stevenson, a good Aussie. It'll be a really tough competition.

"Before then there are the World Championships next summer and that should be a good experience for me," added Gill.

It will be in Moscow that he is likely to meet Storl face-to-face in competition for the first time, after watching countless videos of him on the internet.

Storl is one of only 10 athletes to have won an IAAF World title at youth, junior and senior levels after becoming the youngest ever Shot Put World champion in Daegu last year at the age of 21.

In the Russian capital, Storl should get a first hand look at the man who is not only bidding to remove him from the junior record books but also could also be trying to replace him as the most prodigious thrower in the senior ranks by the time the 2015 IAAF World Championships are held in Beijing.

Phil Minshull for the IAAF