University of Southern Queensland (UniSQ) sport and exercise science student Jai Gordon has become the fastest athlete to compete at the UniSport Nationals.
Just four years ago in 2018, Jai decided to start athletics training to get fitter for AFL.
The 19-year-old sprinter from Toowoomba bolted to gold in the men’s 100m final, setting a new meet record of 10.27sec at the 2023 UniSport Athletics National Championships on 20 April 2023.
Jai eclipsed the championship’s longest-standing record of 10.40sec set by Gary Eddy in 1966 in the semi-final with a fitting tribute to the former Australian Olympic sprinter who was laid to rest the same day.
He said in a statement:
“I was aware of the record heading into the competition, but I didn’t know much about Gary or that he had sadly passed away earlier in the week. I was informed after the semi about him being laid to rest, which was very sad news.”
Jai, who has his sights set on the 2024 Paris Olympics, was one of six UniSQ students to compete at the national meet on the Gold Coast.
“The first thing I did was search his name to find out the calibre of athlete he was and what he achieved, which was considerable. I felt humbled and honoured to carry on his legacy as a student athlete, and it made winning the title the next day even more important.”
Jai’s gold-winning run caps off a long and tricky season, which was derailed by a torn calf he suffered at the World Athletics Under 20 Championships in Colombia last year.