Australian sprinter Jake Doran at the 2017 Australian U18 Championships (© Getty Images)
Australian Jake Doran broke the Oceania Area U20 100m record, clocking 10.15 (+1.5m) in Jämsä, Finland, on Sunday (1).
The performance by the 17-year-old sliced 0.07 from the previous mark of 10.21 set by compatriot Jack Hale two years ago, and elevates Doran to the No. 2 spot among U20 athletes in the world this year, and equal sixth fastest among Australians all-time.
Doran was very surprised by his performance.
“I’m so stoked with how I went today," he said. "I didn’t think anything remotely like that would happen today, I wasn’t very hyped or feeling the greatest going into the competition so when I got a (10.35) PB in the heat I was over the moon. I pulled up a little sore as I didn’t have much race fitness after my injury so I was just gonna try and win the final, but to come out and pull that time was absolutely insane. Completely out of nowhere.”
After missing the 2017/18 domestic season due to injury, Doran was a late addition to the Australian team for the IAAF World U20 Championships Tampere 2018, originally slated as a member of the 4x100m relay squad. However, with his performance coming on the eve of the qualification deadline, he's been entered in the 100m as well.
His time has also taken him well past his coach and Olympian Paul Di Bella, who had a best of 10.26 as a senior. Did coach Di Bella consider such a time possible?
“Aged 16 in March 2017 he ran 10.47 to break Trae Williams’ Queensland U18 record, so I knew he could run close to his PB in this campaign, but to clock 10.35 in the heat and 10.15 (1.5m/s wind) in the final is insane.”
During his 10.47 race in March 2017, which was a heat at the national championships, he pulled his hamstring, but was still selected in the Australian team for the 2017 Commonwealth Youth Games where he was fifth in the 100m and won a gold medal in the mixed 4x100m relay. That time, at 16, meant he had the potential for senior Commonwealth Games selection. But that dream for the Gold Coast was soon over after Nassau.
“In October last year he was diagnosed with two lumbar stress fractures and needed six months of no training,” recalled Di Bella. It was more than his Commonwealth Games dream in tatters.
“He was heart-broken when he couldn’t do the Australian Junior Nationals to be selected for World U20 Championships.”
After the 2018 domestic season Doran returned to the track.
“We got back into training slowly and his goal was to race the other junior Australian athletes in Townsville in June, just to gauge what shape he was in, but off just 12-14 weeks training, on June 10, he ran 10.69 at the Student Games and All comers meet in Townsville.”
Athletics Australia and Bob Ramsak for the IAAF