Walecki’s First National Gold
On Saturday 27 September Jakub Walecki made the gruelling journey to Poland to compete in the Under 16 National Championships held this year in Slupsk – some six hour drive from Warsaw.
In a field of twenty athletes including the reigning age group number one, Walecki – who had hardly slept the night before due to nerves and excitement – executed a mature and confident competition.
Last to enter at 1.75m and wearing his Polish Club Vest, WLKS Nowe Iganie Siedlce, he was forced to take a second attempt before getting into a steady, confident rhythm, which saw him clear the next four heights all at the first time of asking.
With just three competitors left as the bar was moved to 1.91m he was assured of a medal. As the pressure mounted he was unfortunate to nudge the bar on his first attempt before clearing it on the second asking. With points on count back already looking in his favour he was the determined to clear 1.93m and finding a renewed bounce he sailed over the new height making a personal best and and equalling the Club record look easy.
This is a remarkable accomplishment for Walecki, who had no high jump facilities to train on from the start of lockdown until he went back to school in September. With all indoor competitions looking unlikely, he can now settle back and work on his strength and technique and hope that 2021 brings more outdoor success.