Toby Flett Stars As Records Fall at Otago Boys
The annual Athletics Sports were held at Otago Boys High School in New Zeland on Tuesday, and the results did not disappoint.
Otago Boys is a school with a very proud athletics history having claimed many national titles and having produced some remarkable athletes over the years. The competition goes back over 100 years, making a win at this event impressive and a record even more so.
It is even more impressive, then, that 17-year-old Toby Flett smashed his own 100m record and equalled the 200m record both in one day. In 2009 Flett broke the long-standing 100m record of 11.0 seconds, running a time of 10.90 which was a remarkable achievement when you think of all the great athletes that have come from the school.
Even more impressive is the fact that he wasn't even in his final year at school while breaking it. One year later Flett went one better, shattering his record running 10.59 and also equalling the 200m of 22.90 seconds.
Flett is known for having a slower start while kicking it up for a very fast finish. It seemed, however, that no one told him this as he flew out of the blocks having a superb start. But it didn't stop here as he seemed to just keep speeding up as he pulled away from the rest of the field. As he crossed the line, it was so clear that he had smashed his record there was no need to look at the clock, but the fact that he had taken over 30 milliseconds off his record made it an even more phenomenal run.
His nearest competition was John Gilmour (17), but despite also running a record time himself of 10.81, he simply didn't look like catching Flett who was simply untouchable. The fact that he was capable of running a record time deserves a mention, though, as he would have surely had the event any other year. Kane Russell came in third.
To add to this, Flett also equalled the 200m record of 22.90, which has been run twice before. Flett had been on good form leading into the event, and his chances looked good. In fact a year earlier he had run 21.99, showing that he was capable of running the time; all he had to do was do it.
With only six people entered in the event, we had a straight final which meant there was only one chance at breaking the record. The race was already won in the first twenty metres as Flett seemed to be in a zone, and he pulled even further away from the field in the final fifty metres.
Another thing to consider is that all this was done on a grass track, which always produces slower times and provides a different surface for the athletes to have to adapt to under-foot.
It seems that Flett is destined to go onto bigger things as he continues to grow and improve his times. His next focus is the Otago Secondary Schools Champs, where he will begin the qualifying stages in defending his South Island 200m title and will try to claim the 100m title.
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