IPSWICH and District Athletic Club hurdler Josh Stockill returns home on Monday with two international medals.
Stockill, 16, won an individual silver medal in the under-18 400m hurdles at the Oceania Track and Field Championships in Tahiti.
His 55.11 second performance knocked a massive .66 off his personal best.
Adare-based Stockill only missed individual gold by .02 second in what would have looked like a dead heat to the naked eye.
However, the Faith Lutheran College year 12 student won a team gold medal. He ran the second leg of Australia’s under-18 4 x 400m relay in a time of 3.22.83.
The Australians beat rivals New Zealand.
Stockill’s coach Bailey Pashley was impressed with the up-and-coming performer.
“He was disappointed not to get the (individual) gold medal but his performance was outstanding all the same,” Pashley said.
Pashley said Stockill’s personal best was exceptional given the ankle injury he received playing touch football.
“He missed two days training and could only manage two training sessions,” Pashley said.
“One set of fast work on the exercise bike and a couple of fast runs over five hurdles at QEII just before he left for Tahiti.
“The preparation for these championships was not easy as he had a short rest after returning from the nationals in Perth in mid-March and then based his fitness on school cross-country running.
“His time was excellent seeing it was his first race over the hurdles since March and had little time for any sprint training.”
Pashley said Stockill’s run in the relay was also pleasing.
“This was also an excellent performance for the team with each boy averaging 50.7secs for the leg of the event,” the Ipswich and District Athletic Club president said.
“This would be a very smart time for under-18 boys.”
Stockill is due home on Monday after some organised sightseeing with the national team.