University of Southern Queensland (UniSQ) sport and exercise science student Jai Gordon has become the fastest athlete to compete at the UniSport Nationals.
The 19-year-old sprinter from Toowoomba bolted to gold in the men’s 100m final, setting a new meet record of 10.27sec at the 2023 UniSport Athletics National Championships last Thursday (April 20).
Less than 24 hours earlier, Jai eclipsed the championship’s longest-standing record of 10.40sec set by Gary Eddy in 1966 in the semi-final with a fitting tribute to the former Australian Olympic sprinter who was laid to rest the same day.
“I was aware of the record heading into the competition, but I didn’t know much about Gary or that he had sadly passed away earlier in the week,” Jai said.
“I was informed after the semi about him being laid to rest, which was very sad news.
“The first thing I did was search his name to find out the calibre of athlete he was and what he achieved, which was considerable.
“I felt humbled and honoured to carry on his legacy as a student athlete, and it made winning the title the next day even more important.”
Jai’s gold-winning run caps off a long and tricky season, which was derailed by a torn calf he suffered at the World Athletics Under 20 Championships in Colombia last year.
Jai, who has his sights set on the 2024 Paris Olympics, was one of six UniSQ students to compete at the national meet on the Gold Coast.
Elijah Logan finished 8th in the men’s 800m after posting a personal best time of 48.79sec in the preliminaries to qualify for the final.Harry Shelton had a busy meet, competing in four events, which included a top-10 finish in the men’s 110m hurdles and 400m hurdles.
Long-distance specialist Jo Wilson finished 4th in the women’s 3000m steeplechase and 5th in the 5000m.
Coming back from injury, Mia Rennick placed 10th in the women’s triple jump and 15th in the 100m hurdles, while Riley Williams finished 32nd and 33rd in the men’s 100m and 200m.
UNISQ STUDENTS’ UNISPORT NATIONALS ATHLETICS RESULTS
- Men’s 100m – 1st place 10.27sec
- Women’s 100m hurdles – 15th place 17.86sec
- Women’s triple jump – 10th place 9.88m
- Men’s 400m – 8th place 49.43sec (ran personal best 48.79sec in preliminaries)
- Women’s 3000m steeplechase – 4th place 11min 25.57sec
- Women’s 5000m – 5th place 19min 00.71sec
- Men’s 110m hurdles – 9th place 16.61sec
- Men’s 100m – 40th place 11.63sec
- Men’s 400m hurdles – 8th place 1min 05.28sec
- Men’s long jump – 15th place 6.17m
- Men’s 100m – 32nd place 11.36sec
- Men’s 200m – 33rd place 23.36sec