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PROTRACK » GENERAL » Mitch Watt credits compression socks for training turnaround

Mitch Watt credits compression socks for training turnaround

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http://www.heraldsun.com.au/sport/london-olympics/long-jumper-mitch-watt-credits-compression-socks-for-training-turnaround/story-fn9dheyx-1226347909154

Long jumper Mitch Watt credits compression socks for training turnaround

By Jon Ralph
From: News Limited newspapers
May 06, 2012


LONG jumper Mitch Watt has glimpsed the adulation that could await him this year, and he isn't ashamed to admit it felt good.

Joe Public might not have a clue who he is right now, but the Brisbane-based jumper will head into the London Olympics as the gold medal favourite.

Watt has turned a pair of long black compression socks into part of his jumping wardrobe, a fashion the country's young jumpers have been quick to emulate.

Now if he can only jump to his potential in London, the socks might reach cult status for the unlikely trendsetter.

"In Europe last year Adidas randomly sent me a pair of compression socks in the mail. It was cold in Cologne and I am not superstitious, but I had a great training session wearing them, and the next competition was in Stockholm so I said I might as well wear them," says 24-year-old Watt.

"The first competition I broke Jai (Taurima's national) record and then in the competition after that I broke the stadium record in Crystal Palace. Then someone told me that at this year's all-school nationals at Olympic Park half the jumpers had long black socks on. Obviously being in track and field you don't expect that (reaction), but it would be great if I could inspire a few kids to do well or take up athletics."

The penny might be yet to drop for a sporting public brought up on football codes and cricket, but his opponents are following his every move.

After seven months out of competing spent rehabilitating an achilles tendon injury, he is finally ready to return to competition.

He will return to the long jump runway on May 27 in the Gold Coast, with his rivals sure to scrutinise his form.

He had the four biggest jumps of last year leading into the Daegu world championships before those achilles injuries saw him bring home only silver.

"In a way it will be good if I don't come out and jump massively (on the Gold Coast) and put a target on my back like I did last year in Europe. If I can start with a solid competition, even if I don't win or come second, as long as I am peaking for London, I couldn't care what happens," he says.

"But I hate jumping when there is no pressure or adrenalin. I think I dealt with that pressure last year and even in Daegu I handled myself quite well, all things considered.

"If I have a target on my back it means I am jumping well. It is the same thing this year- if I am going in favourite it means I have big jumps on my belt, so I would rather be favourite than not."

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