Wentworth Falls runner Jackson Sharp is feeling confident ahead of his Commonwealth Youth Games debut this week.
“I haven’t been sick or injured so I’ve been able to train consistently,” the Springwood High student said.
Jackson flew to Brisbane last week for a pre-departure camp, before making his way to The Bahamas to compete in the 1500m and an additional event, the 800m.
The 16-year-old qualified for the 1500m at the Commonwealth Youth Games after winning the mens under 18 1500m in 3:52:38 at the Australian Junior Athletics Championships in Sydney in March.
At the championships he was second in the 800m, but after the youth games event schedule was released, Jackson was asked if he would like to compete in the 800m as well, so he thought why not.
His games preparation has revolved around getting fit and fast, with lots of speed sessions and longer runs. Jackson is coached by Gary Howard and long distance runner and Olympian Ben St Lawrence, and he trains six days a week.
About seven weeks ago Jackson began travelling into Sydney once a week to train with Howard and St Lawrence and their crew.
“The first time I went down this season was a big shock as I wasn’t used to training with people and it pushed me a bit harder … I definitely needed it,” Jackson said.
“There’s no way I would be able to run in The Bahamas without this training.”
Jackson anticipates his main competition will be the speedy Kenyans and New Zealander Isaiah Priddey, who ran second to Jackson at the Australian Junior Athletics Championships in March.