22 Jul 2010

Young shot putter emulates Valerie Vili at junior world champs

6:08 pm on 22 July 2010

The 15-year-old shot putter Jacko Gill has won New Zealand's second gold medal at a junior world athletics championship.

The first was the world and olympic shot put champion Valerie Vili eight years ago.

Gill's winning throw of 20.76 metres in Canada was was 56 centimetres further the Serbian silver medalist's and an age group world record.

He's also replaced the Jamaican sprinter Usiain Bolt as the youngest male gold medalist and is only the sixth New Zealander to make the podium at the under 20 junior world championship.

His other predecessors were all bronze medalists: Gavin Lovegrove in the javelin in 1986, Joanne Henry in the heptathlon in 1990 , Shaun Farrell in the 400 metres in 1994 and Jordan Vandermade in the decathalon in 2006.