Jay Meaney (left) and Sophia Hinrichsen.
Jay Meaney (left) and Sophia Hinrichsen.

Jay sets sights on Olympics

BALLINA athlete Jay Meaney has set his sights on representing Australia at the Olympic Games one day, after competing in his first World Junior Championships in the Spanish city of Barcelona.

Meaney, 17, raced in the 4 x 400m Australian under-20 team, which ran fourth, finishing behind the United States, Poland and Trinidad and Tobago.

The team beat second-placed Poland in the qualifying heat, before running a time of 3min 06.58sec in the final, while the US clocked 3min 03.99sec.

Meaney's teammate Steve Solomon is off to the London Olympics to compete in the individual 400m and 4 x 400m.

"I think he'll go pretty well and I'd love to do something similar," Meaney said.

"He competed in his first World Junior Championships when he was my age and he was only in the one event too.

"It was a great experience and America were pretty hard to match.

"Compared to me they were huge, all at least 190 (centimetres).

"I'm pretty happy with how I went. I was 0.6 and 0.7 quicker than what I was at the Australian championships."

Meaney, who also spent time in Germany and England while he was overseas, will still be eligible to compete in the next World Junior Championships in the United States in 2014.

Leading up to the championships last week, Meaney competed in Germany at a meeting that had athletes from 14 countries.

"We got to stay in an Olympic-style athletes' village in Barcelona and it had a gym, track, pool and just about everything," he said.

"I hope to compete in the next one because it's in Oregon (United States) and that's pretty much the home of track and field.

"It was my first time overseas and I really want to thank everyone for their donations, because I wouldn't have been able to get there without them."

Meaney is coached on the Gold Coast by Glynis Nunn-Cearns, who won the heptathlon at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics.



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