Bundaberg's track golden girls
BUNDABERG athletes braved the cold Hobart weather last week and caught a double dose of gold.
Taryn Gollshewsky and Tyniah Thompson both stood on top of the podium, but it was Thompson, the debutante sprinter, who stole the show.
Four years of hard work and fine-tuning have reaped Thompson the ultimate reward.
The 13-year-old ran the third leg for the Queensland 4x100m relay team, pipping Australia’s best to claim gold.
But the modest talent – who runs the 100m under 12.5sec and the 200m under 26 – is taking it all in her stride.
There is every reason for Bundaberg to get excited about its latest prospect, but for Thompson it is pretty straightforward.
“I try not to think about it too much, I just get to the blocks and run as fast as I can,” she said.
But even she admits her latest achievement means things may change next season.
“I’m still having heaps of fun, but after this I think it’s getting more serious and I’ll start focusing on my 100m,” she said.
Her father could not hide his excitement.
“Hopefully, she can be the next Cathy Freeman if she keeps improving like she has,” Conrad Thompson said.
“I don’t think it’s sunk in for her yet, but she’ll be better for this experience.”
Her efforts in the relay were matched by her ability to make the final of the 200m and finish ninth in the 100m.
“To make the final in an individual event in her first nationals is an amazing effort,” coach Sarah-Jane Redshaw said.
“It marks the first step on the way to a big career and there is every chance she can be a star athlete of the future.”
Thompson was not the only Bundaberg girl with a golden smile – Taryn Gollshewsky continued her discus dominance to win the under-17 event by more than six metres.
But the world-class thrower was not content with the result, disappointed to throw one metre shy of the World Junior Championships qualifying mark.
She still threw an amazing 46.48m, just 50cm from her personal best.
“It’s great to think I was that far clear from the rest of the field, but obviously disappointing to not hit that qualifying mark,” she said.
Conditions and preparation were not, however, in her favour. The cold temperature stunted her warm-up and the pre-event area did not allow any practice throws.
“I was gradually throwing further with every throw in the tournament, so if I was able to throw a few in the warm-up I may have pushed closer to that qualifying mark,” she said.
At least she knows it is not out of reach, having thrown 48m but fouling by just 10cm.
“It’s frustrating, that’s for sure, but I’ll try and get to some meets in Brisbane next year and get that distance,” Gollshewsky said.
Talented beach and track sprinter Georgia Devlin also made an impact in Hobart.
The lightning bolt ran a PB in the 200m final, handing her seventh spot, and her sixth in the 100m final was run in a time just outside her fastest.