Country: New Zealand
- 2020 100m and 200m national champion
- 2019 Oceania Championships gold medallist – 100m
- 2019 World Championships team
Your father was an athlete and holds the national record in the 100m – what was it like growing up in a family of athletes?
I felt like it was a privilege being in a household with the fastest man alive in New Zealand. Hearing his story and everything he went through in order to make it that far inspired me and made me believe that I could be in his shoes one day. He is always pushing me to become a better athlete every day.
Can you describe the most technical part of a 100m sprint for us?
There is no room for mistakes in the 100m! The reaction needs to be as quick as possible without false starting. You also need to have a good amount of acceleration, not too short and not long over the first 30 meters or so. During the middle 60 metres, the main thing is going faster while being as relaxed as possible, that way you’re not spending too much energy too quickly. When you get to the 80-90 metre mark, everybody’s speed decreases and so whatever is left in the tank, you just give it your all!
It must have been devastating to not be selected for the Tokyo Olympics, how do you pick yourself up after something like this happens?
It hurts, especially since I’ve been missing games since 2017. Even though I ended up qualifying for the Games, I couldn’t be selected because of my eligibility. My National Olympic Committee didn’t select me even when I qualified, and the reason behind it I think is that they didn’t see me placing in the top 16. This was an all-time low for me. It’s pretty hard to keep motivated when this all happens, and you wonder if it’s worth it. But I try to convince myself that my God has a plan for all this and then, I could say it was all worth it.
We have read that you love the New Zealand way of life – what is it about the lifestyle that you enjoy?
New Zealand, also known as Aotearoa, has many wonderful things in the country. Our country is small, but the heart of this country is big. Everybody is helpful and nice. What I enjoy about the lifestyle is the beach life, as I love to take myself to the beach or the wharf. I also enjoy the different views and landscapes in the country as there’s many sites to see be it in the cities, rivers or wherever you are. I believe it’s the best place to be! Many top quality things in Aotearoa.
At the end of a tough training week, what do you like to do to rest and recover?
I’m a simple guy. I don’t really use any special recovery tools, I just sleep as much as possible to let my muscles recover from hard training sessions. But I also have chocolate milk that helps with my recovery and just because it tastes sweet and refreshing after a workout😊.
What athlete would you like to have around for dinner and why?
I got two athletes that I could invite for dinner, the first one is Usain bolt. He’s changed so much in the track game and the world; it would be my honour if he came to my house for a chat and dinner. Another athlete I would like to invite is Beauden Barrett. I’ve been watching a lot of rugby lately and I just like the way he plays. Also, he’s been in the rugby game for a very long time, we would have a lot to talk about rugby wise.
As an athlete myself, I love my protein, from chicken to beef. But I’d say anything that involves chicken is best as it is my childhood favourite – especially when my mum makes it! Like you know it’s about to be a good dinner when she has cooked chicken. I have loved chicken ever since I was a kid, it’s like a little obsession that never left my body or tastebuds.