MORLEY athletics star and national record holder Liam Gartlan is determined to qualify for the 2018 International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) U20 World Athletics Championships in Finland.
The 16-year-old started athletics as a seven-year-old and won multiple state championships for shot put, discus and javelin at the age of 10.
Gartlan currently holds the national record in under-14s shot put and many other state records in discus and shot put.
The Australian under-17 development squad member won multiple medals in competitions including the Australian Little Athletics Championships, Australian Junior Athletics Championships and All Schools competition.
In 2016, he made the Australian Oceania Team for shot and Discus and competed in his first overseas competition in Fiji where he won gold in discus and silver in shot put in the under 18 men’s division.
Gartlan said he trained seven times a week at the Western Australian Institute of Sport and the gym.
“I’m doing pre-season training at the moment – the season starts in October or November,” he said.
“In WA, there is not much competition but there is over east and it is a good opportunity to compete against them…it pushes me to be at my best.”
Gartlan said performing well at the 2018 Australian Athletics Championships in March 2018 would help him qualify for the world championships.
“Representing Australia is something every athlete wants to do and dreams of winning a gold medal,” he said.
“My short-term goal is to place top two at the Australian Athletics Championships and throw 55m which will give me qualification for the world champs and stay injury free.”
Gartlan said hislong-term goal was to represent Australia at the Commonwealth and Olympic Games.
“Probably 2022 Commonwealth Games is more achievable for a discus thrower…I will be more mature, older and have more strength,” he said.