Shot put champion prefers to stay at home in build-up to Olympics

National shot put champion Jacko Gill will take a low key approach in his build-up to this year’s Olympics.

While a lot of New Zealand’s top athletes will be heading north to compete in meets in North America and Europe, Gill will instead concentrate on training rather than competing.

Gill beat Tom Walsh to defend his title at the National Championships in Wellington over the weekend.

Both athletes weren’t at their best, but that’s not surprising just two weeks after competing at the World Indoor Championships where Walsh finished second and Gill fifth.

“I got a little lucky today; it has been a long season for us with the travel,” Gill said after that victory. “I’ve been throwing well around 22 metres but I’ve just kind of dropped off after World Indoors.”

Gill will celebrate with a few days’ rest in Russell before getting back into training at his Auckland base.

“I’ll probably go to Europe in early July, I just like being in New Zealand so I probably won’t go to Europe that early,” he told RNZ.

The 29 year old says he may go to the Oceania Championships in Fiji in June, but otherwise he’ll stay close to home.

“It’s a lot of travel and I have such a good set-up at home that it’s kind of hard to leave.

“Just travelling and potentially being alone for a while is just tough.”

Gill has always credited his family for getting him into a positive place in his career.

Jacko Gill defended his shot put title at the national championships in Wellington, pipping Tom Walsh for the second straight year. Newtown Park, Wellington, Sat 16th March 2024. Photo supplied.

He says he prefers less competition leading into a big event.

“I do, it helps, you get up for it a lot and then you have that come down.

“Whereas I think that consistent build-up week after week just seems to suit my technique and the way I throw.”

Gill is one of nine New Zealand track and field athletes to have gained an automatic qualifying mark for the Paris Olympics.

He is a former world junior champion and finished ninth at both the Rio de Janeiro and Tokyo Olympics.

According to the news on Radio New Zealand

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