International gold for long jumper from Warwick
ATHLETICS: Warwick long jumper Justyn Rogers has won gold in the under-20 age group at the Oceania Games in Townsville.
He jumped a personal best of 7.37m late Wednesday afternoon to win with his fifth attempt in a games which has attracted athletes from 22 countries.
It was his first competition as part of the Australian team. He will remain with the team in Townsville until Saturday.
Justyn jumped 7.19m with his first attempt which put him one centimetre behind leader Tristan Scheirs from Victoria.
After the first three jumps, he qualified in the top eight for three more attempts and the battle for medals.
Scheirs increased his lead with a jump of 7.33m before Justyn won with his fifth jump.
His coach Bec Rogers, no relation, said she was proud of how Justyn had performed in the tough competition.
"He wanted to nail his best jump and did it with his fifth,” Bec said.
"I knew when he jumped it was enough to take the lead.”
His previous best was 7.34m at the state championships this year.
Bec said Justyn had a scholarship to the Queensland Academy of Sport to train under national jumps coach Gary Bourne and would be heading to Brisbane in the next month.
"Gary will take over from me as his coach so it was good we finished on a high note,” she said.
"Tristan won gold and Justyn silver at the nationals so it was great for Justyn to win the toughest competition, the Oceania Games.”
Bec said he would go up to open competition next year.
"With specialist training three to four hours each day, he can hopefully take it to the next level and jump again in the green and gold in open competition.”
While the Commonweath Games aren't for three years, Bec said she believed he could reach the games qualifier of 7.8m next season.
A games qualifier next season will be out of date well before the games but would be a confidence booster for the athlete who started to star while still at student at Warwick State High School.