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PROTRACK » GENERAL » Long jumper Mitchell Watt has 'no regrets' over blast

Long jumper Mitchell Watt has 'no regrets' over blast

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Long jumper Mitchell Watt has 'no regrets' over blast

Damien Stannard
The Courier-Mail
March 15, 2013

London Olympics silver medallist Mitchell Watt. Picture: Jewel Samad. Source: AFP

LONG jumper Mitchell Watt has no regrets over his fierce defence of the Australian team during last year's Olympics.

The Queensland silver medallist, who told journalists to "wake up" after their criticism during the London Games, will meet Olympic champion Greg Rutherford in Perth tomorrow.

It will be their first meeting since the Olympics when the Briton upstaged pre-Games favourite Watt in the final.

The University of Queensland law student was satisfied with his silver medal performance and challenged anyone who suggested second best was not good enough.

"An Olympic gold medal is bloody hard to get," Watt said at the time.

"If people can't realise a silver medal is a great achievement then there is something wrong with them."

It was an uncharacteristic outburst by the usually affable jumper, but it reflected athlete sentiment in the wake of a below-par performance by Australia in the pool.

"Most of the (public) responses were supportive," he said. "I had a good 12 hours to think about what I would say.

"It's lucky I didn't do it straight away because I toned it down a bit.

"I didn't want to come across sounding like a brat but I'm glad I said it and happy I said it in the right way."

Neither Rutherford nor Watt, who has overcome an ankle injury, are in peak shape and they will be kept honest by former indoor world champion Fabrice Lapierre.

Throwers Dani Samuels (discus) and Kim Mickle (javelin) are in strong form and will be aiming to improve on their A-standard qualifying throws in Sydney last weekend.

The track rivalry between sprinters Josh Ross and Tim Leathart continues to build.

Leathart upset the six-time national 100m champion in Sydney in a slick 10.24sec.

Ross, who has confirmed his intention to push on to the 2016 Olympics, later turned the tables in the 200m.

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