Australian long jumper Mitchell Watt at the Perth Track Classic (© Getty Images)
Olympic silver medallist Mitchell Watt may use his trip to Shanghai to add an authentic touch to one of his legal studies assignments.
“One of my subjects I’m taking at law school this year is Asia Legal Systems. Obviously China is one of the more powerful countries, so we’ve studied that quite a bit. Compared to last time I went to China in 2011, I now know a lot more about the place.
“I’ve actually got an assignment for which some of the work can be written or video. I’m considering filming the video assessment in Shanghai. Surely there’s got to be one extra mark if you film the video in China. It’s only a few minutes, so if I can get my assignment together, I can maybe get Benn Harradine to help me out. He’s done a bit of multi-media. It would be quite different from anyone else in the class, that’s for sure.
“I’m really looking forward to the Shanghai Diamond League. Training is going well. I’m adding more and more each week. It’s the most I’ve looked forward to a competition for a while. The couple I did in the domestic season, I wasn’t quite ready, so we used it more as a change of pace from training.
“Last year was a bit of a battle with my body, so it’s probably the first competition for a while where I feel happy and ready to go. That doesn’t necessarily mean I’m going to jump something massive, but the body’s feeling good, I’ve been getting more and more done at training each week, so I’m looking forward to it. After that, Europe is not too far away.
“I’m looking forward to travelling – it’s been quite a while. I haven’t been overseas since I got back from the Olympics and it feels like it’s been forever. Apart from the competition side of things, travel is always fun. I’m flying to Shanghai with (discus thrower) Benn Harradine who is always good for a laugh.
“After that, I’m heading straight to the United States, and I’ll spend 10 days or so in Scottsdale before the Eugene Diamond League. I’ll stay at Steve Hooker’s place. He tells me he’s settling in nicely, so I’m looking forward to spending some time there and have him show me around. I think I am rooming with Ryan Gregson in Eugene. Hopefully that means he will stop snap-chatting me ten times a day.
“Another reason I want to get back to China is because I had such a good trip first time. In 2011, I went to Kawasaki and then on to Shanghai. I jumped a personal best at the time which is still the meeting record (8.44m). Having had a good competition last time is adding to my desire to go as well, because I had a good jump there.
“Because we’d come over from Japan the week before, we were in Shanghai for almost a full week. So we had a bit longer there than you normally have before a competition. Shanghai stadium and the hotel are quite central, so you can get to the city easily.
“Obviously I enjoy going to Europe, but for the most part it’s quite similar to Australia, whereas Asia is a different culture. Going there is quite different from Europe, or going to London. I found Asia fascinating.
“One of the reasons training has been going well is I’ve got a new training partner in the squad, Cameron Crowley. We have been friends since we were 10 or 11 and went to high school together. He is fast and strong, so is perfect to push me along at training. His girlfriend is a Swedish heptathlete – Ellinore Hallin – who finished ninth at the European indoors. She’s pretty close to the qualifier for Worlds this year, so hopefully she’ll be competing in Moscow.
“It’s good to have someone new at the track, mixing things up the past couple of months has added to the enjoyment of training. Someone else there messing around, throwing a frisbee, is a good distraction rather than on concentrating on what rep or set you’re on.
“Obviously you’re not going to feel 100 per cent every day. If you’re training by yourself, it’s too easy to focus on your body a bit too much. It’s a plus to be a bit more relaxed in training.
“That’s all to come. After Shanghai and Eugene, I come straight back to Australia to sit my end-of -semester exams. Then I fly to the UK for the Birmingham IAAF Diamond League.
“Until next time,