3 Apr 2012

Focus on Barcelona, not London, for Jacko Gill

7:31 am on 3 April 2012

The world junior shot put champion Jacko Gill's completely focused on the world junior championships in Barcelona in July now - rather than the Olympic Games.

The 17-year-old Aucklander announced his decision yesterday to give up on competing in London amid confusion over qualifying criteria.

Gill decided to bypass the Games after missing out on the initial group of track and field athletes selected for London last week.

His father Walter Gill says Jacko didn't want the distraction of waiting to be confirmed in the New Zealand team until just weeks before the Olympics, as he couldn't train properly for Barcelona - not knowing whether he was a confirmed starter or not.

Walter Gill says Jacko was told that 20 metres was the IAAF 'B' standard and the 'A' standard 20.50, while the New Zealand standard was inbetween at 20.30, and Jacko threw 20.38 in December - so he thought he'd qualified.

Walter Gill says Jacko isn't bitter and he hopes New Zealand fans will get over any disappointment and get behind him for the world junior champs instead.