Rio Olympics shot putter Jacko Gill is returning to the Potts Classic in Hastings this Saturday and, again, will provide a superb gauge for budding talent to use him as a yardstick.

The 22-year-old Auckland finished ninth at the Olympics and has a PB of 20.83m.

"I tried to get Tom Walsh here but he's in the same boat as Eliza McCartney so he wants to stay home and train," says meeting manager Richard Potts, revealing elite athletes preferred to look at the bigger picture and look after themselves.

"They have to make sure they don't wear themselves out too much in the New Zealand summer," says Potts.


Karamu High School pupil Nick Palmer has a junior shot PB of 18.28m so he will be keen to test his progress against Gill.

The size and quality of the field of women in the 100m race intrigues Potts.

"I have eight girls in the 100m field who are clocking under 12 seconds," he says.

Zoe Hobbs is fourth on the New Zealand women's all-time list for the 100m, surpassing the record of Hawke's Bay teenager Briar Toop, posted in 1990 at the Auckland Commonwealth Games.

The 19-year-old from New Plymouth, who is based in Auckland to train with former national 200m champion James Mortimer, clocked a PB 11.53s at the IAAF World U20 Championship in Bydgoszcz, Poland, last August.

"Zoe's going to be up against Christine Wearne, of Australia, who was here at our classic last year and went on to finish runner-up at the Australian nationals," he says.

Bay's Georgia Hulls and fellow NZSS stablemate Lucy Sheat, of Blenheim, who is officially the fastest schoolgirl over 200m, will relish the test.

Singaporean Veronica Shanti Pereira has the fifth fastest time of 11.8s, a shade slower than Sheat and Hulls.

In the men's 100m, 11 in the field have run under 11 seconds and one of them, Joseph Millar, of Taurnaga, has a scorching time of 10.3s.

Millar scooped the 100m, 200m double at the classic last year.

An Australian contingent, which Sir Graeme Avery again is sponsoring, will continue its trip here to add to the foreign flavour while travelling to other meetings in the circuit.