“My love of the 200 has drawn me back towards it. I’ve only ran it twice competitively in the last year, but my world ranking is better in the 200 metres than it is the 100 metres,” Dominic Overend explains of his sudden focus on 200 metres sprinting.
Last year an overgrown bone in the right heel led to surgery and a temporary abandonment of the 200 metres following difficulty turning around the bend.
In March, Overend’s greater concentration on the 100 metres resulted in him running a blistering 10.57s to win the U20 Australian Championships.
The Auckland Grammar School student recently qualified for the Junior Olympics in Argentina in October after winning the 100m/200m double at the Micronesian Athletics Championships in Vanuatu.
Battling a stiff breeze, Overend ran 11.02s in winning the 100m while he set a personal best of 21.54s in capturing the 200m title, a result achieved with only two competitive races.
In the U18 age group, Overend is ranked 50th in the world in the 100m and 24th in the 200m.
“The wind was really variable so when I ran the heat of the 100 I clocked 10.83 as opposed to 11.02 in the final 45 minutes later. In the heats of the 200 my coach [Matthew White] told me to take it easy so I qualified second,” Overend reveals.
Overend, whose grandfather was a national triple jump and sprint champion, dropped competition a month prior to Vanuatu to prepare for the 200. Increasing the “volume of his output” and enjoying the assistance of a slight tailwind paid dividends.
“There was only a short break between the heats and the finals which was a good because it didn’t allow the nerves to build up too much. I was happy with my start and my foot held up well so it felt good down the straight. It hasn’t sunk in yet that I’m going to the Olympics,” Overend enthused.
Overned will spend most of the winter training with his next target Mark Kendal’s U18 200m record of 21.37s.
At this stage Overend will be joined in Argentina by fellow Kiwis Connor Bell (Westlake BHS) and Kayla Goodwin (Sacred Heart College, Hamilton).
Bell threw 64.47m (an Olympic Youth record) in claiming the Micronesian discus title while Kayla Goodwin of Hamilton who turned 17 on 24 April, set two New Zealand age group records with her winning performance and PB of 12.62m in the triple jump. This breaks Bridgette Pateman’s 1997 U18 record of 12.45m and Pateman’s 1998 U19 record of 12.60m. Goodwin also had a PB in the long jump with her third placing of 5.78m.
Read our previous story with Kayla Goodwin in February this year here:
World U18 Records
100m: Anthony Schwartz (USA) - 31/3/2017, Gainesville, Florida - 10.15
200m: Usian Bolt (Jamaica) - 20/7/2003, Bridgetown, Barbados - 20.13
World U18 Best Times 2018
100m: Sachin Dennis, 16, (Jamaica), 23/3/18, Jamaica - 10.20
200m: Sean Burrell, 16, (USA), 18/4/2018, USA - 20.77
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