Hamish Gill is one of the brightest long jump talents in New Zealand. Here the 20-year-old - and former 2016 World U20 200m semi-finalist - offers a glimpse into his world by answering our Five Minutes With questions.
Why and how did you start in the sport of athletics?
I started athletics, aged nine, while I was still playing football. I enjoyed running with the ball and passing defenders with speed and it was this and participating in my primary school athletics day that inspired me to join the local athletics club, Bays Cougars. From that day on, I have never looked back.
What was your first significant win?
My first significant win/s came when taking five gold medals - in the 100m, 200m, long jump, high jump and 4x100m relay) at the Colgate Games in Inglewood. I was aged ten at the time and that was the first time I genuinely thought I had a future in athletics.
What was your first major setback?
Three or four years ago I fractured one of my lower vertebrae, which not only sidelined me for some time but also impacted on my ability to continue to do high jump, which, back then, was my favourite event. I then switched to the sprints until I met my current coach Elena Brown, who convinced me to focus on the long jump.
Best piece of coaching advice?
The best coaching advice I've received is from my current coach Elena, who tells me that the results will come if I focus on the process of training, recovery, nutrition etc.
What qualities do think every athlete needs to succeed?
Motivation is key to becoming a successful athlete. You need this motivation to train, eat right, have appropriate recovery procedures and also to compete. This motivation is also important in negative times, such as injuries, when it is vital to focus on returning to full health no matter how long it may take. Consistency in training is another key component to being a successful athlete. While patience is also another big factor as all athletes are different and no two people have the same path to success. So being patient and knowing your time is coming is something all athletes should possess.
What is the most important thing you have learned from your time in the sport?
For me, it is not too not take myself too seriously. As I often set my own high expectations, it is important for me to enjoy what is happening around me when I compete and to trust in the process and that the results will come.
What is the best thing about being an athlete?
I absolutely love travelling. Being able to travel the world while competing is something I will never take for granted.
If you could have a superpower what would it be and why?
It would be the ability to fly. Having the freedom to go wherever you want with no limits would be amazing.
What is your hidden talent?
I'm really good at playing Scrabble, and I am the reigning champ at home!
What would be your last meal?
Definitely a big breakfast, featuring bacon, sausages, hash browns and a nice scrambled egg. You can't go wrong.
What is your karaoke song?
My Heart Will Go On - Celine Dion, for sure, but, it would have to be a duo with my dad.
What is your greatest indulgence?
Sweet food, I could have it at any time of the day. French toast with lots of maple syrup would definitely be top of the list.
If you could have three dinner party guests, who would they be and why?
Usain Bolt - An absolute character, hilarious and I'm sure can share lots of cool stories. Who wouldn't want him there?
Johnny Depp - My favourite actor and, arguably, the greatest actor alive.
Childish Gambino - His music is amazing and he seems like a really cool guy.