Redcliffe athlete Daniel Harlow is “on top of the world” after winning his first national title at his first Australian Track and Field Championships.
The 12-year-old took almost half a second off his personal best (pb) time in winning the Under 14 90m hurdles final at Olympic Park in Sydney yesterday.
He then stepped onto the gold medal podium used at the 2000 Olympic Games, standing in exactly the same place as Aussie legend Cathy Freeman two decades ago.
“It felt surreal, on top of the world” says Harlow, who has been a member of Redcliffe Little Athletics since he was nine years old.
“I tried to take it all in … the noise from the crowd was great.”
Harlow, representing Queensland, won his hurdles heat in 13.2 seconds. After three barriers of the final he trailed, but soon hit the front and won a close race in 12.9 seconds – a pb by 0.48 seconds.
“It was a race I thought I had a chance in and crossing the line I thought I had won,” says the Redcliffe State High School student.
Harlow also collected a national silver medal as runner-up in the Under 14 400m final clocking 54.73 seconds – a time he was happy with, but not the race.
“I got sucked into his (the winner’s) race and slowed down the back straight,” admits Harlow, who fought hard to hold on to silver by just 0.05 of a second.
“(At the finish) I actually had no idea I was second."
In a hectic three days, Harlow was fourth in the Under 14 long jump with a leap of 5.60cms, one centimetre beyond his previous best.
And after an hour in that event, had to run the Under 14 800m finishing 13th in 2 minutes 14.68 seconds.
“It was a really good meet and great to watch all the other athletes” says Harlow, who thanked his coaches Shane Pearson and Theresa Stolberg.
The national medals will be added to his 11 state titles (two relays) in the trophy cabinet and three state records this season.
Harlow is also in Redcliffe State High School’s Rugby League Program of Excellence and has accepted an invitation to join Brisbane North Broncos' Development Squad.
However, he will now have a month off from athletics, until the cross-country season starts.
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