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

Watt: ‘The better my training gets, the more excited I get’

Rain put a dampener on a planned riverside competition in Cologne last weekend but, that aside, things are looking bright and sunny for Mitchell Watt.

"Today (Sunday, 24 June) is the first day I’ve really looked at the Olympic countdown clock and there is 40 days to go to Long Jump qualifying.

"Training is going very well. I had some really good sessions this week. The better my training gets, the more excited I get.

"Hopefully I can continue on the same path for the next two or three weeks and make sure I have really, really good sessions in the lead-up so my confidence is high and I jump well in remaining competitions.

"For me, if I can stay fit and healthy like I am at the moment, I’ll be a happy man in London.

"I had planned to compete in a Long Jump competition today. We had a portable runway set up alongside the Rhine in Cologne. But it was cold, wet and windy, and with a slippery runway likely, we decided it wasn’t worth any risk at this stage.

"I’ve still got competitions locked in at the Samsung Diamond League meetings in London and Monaco. Given that I did not compete (on Monday), I will travel to Madrid on 7 July to add an extra competition to my schedule.

"We came to our base at Cologne the day after the New York Diamond League meeting. It’s working out really well. Our apartments are right alongside the sports university and both Gary and my physiotherapist are here, too.

"Going from Australia to New York to Germany within five days was always going to be pretty tough. I didn’t know quite how my body would react. But the travel was good, I managed some good sleep on the plane, and having physio here right away was helpful in terms of recovery. I had lighter sessions first few days, but we’ve now been here 10 days, I’ve had some good sessions, and things are back to normal.

"The apartments are about 100 metres from a really big forest. If I train in the morning, I’ll often go for a bike ride through the forest in the afternoon, just to get the legs moving and help recovery. The scenery is really nice so it’s a good way to relax and kill some time.

"The Euro 2012 soccer is on at the moment, and I’m watching that pretty well every night. When Germany is playing we’ll go to a local restaurant and get involved.

"I train for 2-3 hours a day but it’s surprising how quickly the days get away from you once you do some food shopping and organise meals for the day, travel to the track and back, get some treatment in the afternoon – before you know it it’s 5 or 6 o’clock.

"It’s good not having to rush to get everything done. You don’t have to rush to get to physio or to the track. But I’m definitely not bored or sitting around with time to kill.

"When I’m travelling, I do like to see a bit of the places I compete. The Diamond League was the first time I’d been to New York and I did quite a lot of walking around, which helped with my jet lag. You’re out and about, getting some movement into your legs, and adjusting to the time zone pretty quickly.

"Some places where you compete you’re stuck in a hotel near the airport and there’s not much you can do. New York there’s plenty to do and here in Cologne as well. It can make a big difference.

"We stayed near Grand Central Station which is a pretty awesome place to stay. We did as much as we could in three days, keeping in mind that I had to compete so we didn’t do anything too crazy. I ended up winning the competition so it was a great start to my Diamond League campaign.

"I saw that Dwight Phillips had to miss the US Trials and the Games. For me, it’s a kind of bitter-sweet feeling. On one hand, you want all the best people there so that you know that, if you win, you beat the best. On the other, you can’t help thinking that if the world champion is not there, your own odds become a little better.

"Dwight is a competitor I respect a lot and I have said this many times, especially after being on the podium with him in Berlin and Daegu. Regardless of what happens this year or next, or whether he gets back, he’s a legend of our event. He’s made an enormous impact on long jump and someone I’ll always look up to regardless of what I achieve in the next few seasons.

"Till next time,"