World indoor championships shot put bronze medallist Tom Walsh has warned young rival Jacko Gill to be ready for a battle at the national championships late this month.
Gill's management team reiterated yesterday that the 19-year-old Aucklander would face Walsh, 22, in Wellington at the nationals from March 28 to 30.
"He [Gill] will be competing at nationals and hopefully will have a good competition with Tom Walsh," Gill's manager, Les Mills said.
Walsh, blogging while en route to Melbourne where he will train before the World Challenge meet on March 22, said he hoped his ''long-awaited showdown with Jacko Gill will take place'' in Wellington.
''I'm defending my title, and going for my fifth in a row, so he'd better be ready for a battle.''
Gill has added some startling spice to the most eagerly awaited duel in New Zealand track and field since middle distance stars John Walker and Rod Dixon went head-to-head in the 1970s.
Days after Walsh ramped up the pressure with a shock bronze medal at the world indoor championships in Poland, Gill has posted another of his staggering, high-octane training videos on the internet, demonstrating the kind of condition he is in heading into the national track and field championships in two weeks.
Just before midnight Wednesday, Gill tweeted a four-minute video entitled The Chillman [sic] which shows him lifting 250kg weights, throwing a series of fierce punches and doing one-armed press-ups. Gill ends the video by staring into the camera while eating a raw chilli.
Gill and Walsh have not competed head-to-head for months.
While Gill stayed away from facing Walsh at February's international track meet in Christchurch, his management team said last month he would face Walsh in Wellington at the nationals.
Gill is a double world junior champion and holds the world junior record.
Both men are vying for Commonwealth Games selection later this year.
Of these accolades, which would you like to win most?