Liam Carr won't just be flying the flag for Manawatu athletes in Sydney next month. He will also be doing it for New Zealand long jumpers and triple jumpers.
The Palmerston North Boys' High School student has been selected for the New Zealand team at the Australian Youth Olympic Festival which runs from January 16 to 20.
Carr, 16, is the only Manawatu athlete in the 30-strong squad, and the only long jumper and triple jumper, so he was unsure how he would fare in Australia.
"Geez, hard to tell because there's 1500 athletes going over from 30 countries, it's quite hard to tell," he said.
"Hopefully I'll see what I can do. I don't really care how I go. Just making the team and travelling is big enough for me."
There are not many juniors around Manawatu that jump as far as he does, so the competition in Sydney should be a true test of his ability.
"Usually at nationals there's 30 or 40 of us. At the youth Olympics there's 50 or 60."
He was quite nervous about the trip, but should be competitive if he can post his personal bests of 13.93m in the triple jump and 6.29m in the long jump.
"It's hard to tell. If I have a good chance in either of the two, I'm hoping to get 14 metres [in the triple jump] and hopefully if I get 14, I should be good enough to get in the top 10."
He doesn't find much difference between the two events, with a lot of the similar techniques for both and was hoping to break his personal bests in Australia.
Carr earned his spot in the squad by winning the boys' senior triple jump title at the New Zealand secondary schools championships in Dunedin two weeks ago with a jump of 13.84m to follow the junior title he won last year.
In Dunedin, he did not perform as well as he would have liked in the long jump, finishing 16th with a jump of 6.02m, but a sore ankle hampered him.
His first proper jumping competition was at the nationals three years ago where he won a bronze medal in the triple jump.
He has just finished year 12 at Boys' High, so he is likely to have another year of dominating the school triple jump and is also in the first XI football team.
New Zealand Youth Olympic team - Boys: Mathew Bloxham, Liam Carr, Michael Dawson, Brett Farrell, Charlie Gamble, Austen Heuvel, Jonathon Lord, Jacob Matson, Jacob Priddey, Jordan Rackham, James Sandilands, Tom Smith, Bailey Stewart, Sam Ulufona, Rhian Ward.
Girls: Lauren Bruce, Tarryn Davey, Mauga Feagaige-Fagasa, Audrey Gregan, Zoe Hobbs, Talia Horgan, Lucy Jacobs, Megan Kukuchi, Arianna Lord, Laura Overton, Kate Plimmer, Amy Robinson, Dionne Treadaway, Brooke Urquhart, Erica Winton.
- Manawatu Standard
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