Athletics: Gill and girlfriend perfect match

By Anendra Singh -
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NO MATCH: Rio Olympian Jacko Gill, of Takapuna club, is happy just to go about his business from meeting to meeting in his quest for higher honours. PHOTO/Warren Buckland
NO MATCH: Rio Olympian Jacko Gill, of Takapuna club, is happy just to go about his business from meeting to meeting in his quest for higher honours. PHOTO/Warren Buckland

Others use him for inspiration at the shot put arena but what rocks Jacko Gill's boat?

"I just love it. I just like to be strong and throwing," said Gill soon after landing his 7.26kg shot 20.30m for his third consecutive crown in Hastings on Saturday.

The 22-year-old Aucklander just missed out on the 20.50m distance bonus of $300 to add to his $200 first prize with Alexander Parkinson (North Harbour Bays Athletics) heaving 15.45m in second place.

"It's a pretty big year with the [Gold Coast] Commonwealth Games and World Championship qualifying [events] so you peak towards them and then there'll be a few Diamond Leagues so it'll be a step up," said Gill.

The 2010 World Junior Championship gold medallist, who finished ninth at the Rio Olympics last year, said he had started his season at the annual Allan and Sylvia Potts Memorial Classic better than he thought he would.

Tomorrow he will compete at the Cooks Classic in Whanganui but he won't make it to the Capital Classic on Friday because he will be appearing at the Sola Power meeting in Wellington on Saturday.

"I promised Shaka Sola I would compete at his event although I love the Capital Classic but it is the day before so I'll go to the Capital Classic next year."

Gill, who holds the Potts Classic record of 20.06m set in 2015, said he enjoyed competing here and his family also joined him to extend turn the visit into a holiday in the beautiful Hastings and Napier cities.

Reta Blinova, also of Takapuna club but who didn't feature in the programme, won the women's top grade with a throw of 15.54 using a 4kg shot to smash the 13.94m record of Kim Mulhall, of Australia, set in 2011.

Reta who?

"I got a text from Jacko's mum [Nerida Gill] at 11 [on Saturday] in the morning asking if Reta could compete," meeting manager Richard Potts said yesterday of Jacko Gill's girlfriend who hails from Estonia.

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