Shot put phenomenon Jacko Gill has gone and done it again, a world age group record that is, to made himself a perfect present on the eve of his 17 birthday on Monday.

In fact, it would have been some news if he had left Auckland’s Millenium Stadium empty-handed on his current run of form that saw him hurl the senior implement out to a massive 20.38m a fortnight before, an Olympic A qualifier.

This time round, the precocious Kiwi could not quite match this distance and ‘had to do’ with a best of 20.07m on the day, still his second best ever and an extraordinary figure for an athlete of his age. But such is his ambition and hunger to reach further and further that it felt like disappointment that fired him up moving into the junior competition shortly afterwards and deliver the goods in style.

His emotions fuelled up the 5kg standard to travel high and far and almost land outside the throwing range, drawing instant exclamations of wonder around.  The score was settled in his reckoning and the measurement came up to signal a new milestone at a massive 24.45m – mission accomplished!

That represented a good 10cm improvement on his previous mark of 24.35m set during a dazzling series at the World Youth Championships last July and it’s going to be intriguing to see how long is going to last because it may hardly survive even his next outing at this rate.

As for Jacko, his birthday present wrapped-up, he headed home with the smile restored on his face and a well-earned sleep-in beckoning the following morning after quite some time. Not bad at all…

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