INDEPENDENT NEWS

Veitch Aims To Crack Magic Eight-metre Mark

Published: Fri 1 Mar 2024 08:47 PM
National champion Shay Veitch will look to create history at the 2024 Sir Graeme Douglas International presented by Harcourts Cooper & Co on Sunday 10 March at Douglas Track & Field, Trusts Arena in Auckland when he takes to the runway against one of the best international men’s long jump fields ever assembled in New Zealand.
At the previous edition 12 months ago, Veitch soared out to a personal best of 7.99m – elevating him to joint number two on the all-time NZ rankings and within 6cm of the 56-year-old New Zealand record set in Whangarei by Bob Thomas.
Facing a field of no less than eight men with a PB in excess of eight metres led by Japanese record-holder Shoutarou Shiroyama and Australia’s former World Indoor and Commonwealth silver medallist Henry Frayne the field is jam-packed with top talent.
Yet the 23-year-old Veitch is far from intimidated at the prospect and believes he can be inspired by the quality of the field just like he was at last year’s event.
“It is exciting to be in a field of such quality and to be able to compete with some of the best in the world,” says Veitch, who was conditionally selected for the New Zealand team at the 2023 World Championships. “Last year we enjoyed fantastic crowd support competing in front of the grandstand. Given this, I’m very excited by what I can jump in Auckland.”
The Dunedin-based jumper who is coached by Mike Beable, the current Athletics NZ Arthur Eustace Coaching Award winner, continues to take an upward trajectory with his career. A two-time national senior long jump champion in 2021 he showed his versatility by winning the national 100m title in Hastings.
However, committed to the long jump, his next goal is to break eight metres and take down Thomas’ mark – one of the oldest national records in the books. Not that is obsessing too much on distances or records.
“For me, it is important not to focus on distances. It is vital to be thinking about putting the jumps together technically, which I have in training,” adds Veitch. “Hopefully this will then be reflected in the distance I jump.”
Some of the star performers in the men’s long jump at the Sir Graeme Douglas International Presented by Harcourts Cooper & Co on Sunday 10 March.
Shoutarou Shiroyama (Jpn) – PB: 8.40m – The Japanese record-holder, 2014 World U20 and 2017 Asian Champs bronze medallist.
Liam Adcock (Aus) – PB: 8.15m – The Australian champion who at the 2023 Sir Graeme Douglas International Presented by Harcourts Cooper & Co equalled the New Zealand allcomers record with an 8.05m leap.
Chris Mitrevski (Aus) – PB 8.21m – Three-time Australian long jump champion and two-time Commonwealth Games finalist.
Henry Frayne (Aus) – PB: 8.34m – Three-time Olympian and 2012 World Indoor and 2018 Commonwealth Games silver medallist.
Darcy Roper (Aus) – PB: 8.20m – The 2016 World U20 and 2019 World University Games bronze medallist
Shay Veitch (NZL) – PB: 7.99m – The two-time national long jump champion and all-time NZ joint number two.

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