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PROTRACK » GENERAL » Australia's fastest teen Jack Hale finishes second at New Year's Day sports carnival in Burnie

Australia's fastest teen Jack Hale finishes second at New Year's Day sports carnival in Burnie

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Australia's fastest teen Jack Hale finishes second at New Year's Day sports carnival in Burnie

ABC News
Friday 2 Jan 2015

Photo: Jack Hale (far right) finished in second place at the Burnie New Year's Day sports carnival. (ABC: Damian McIntyre)

Australia's fastest teenager Jack Hale has finished in second place at the Burnie New Year's Day Sports Carnival at West Park Oval.

The 16-year-old finished the race in 12.92 seconds, coming second to Victoria's Luke Stevens, 20, who recorded a time of 12.89 seconds, in the 120 metres Invitation Backmarkers Handicap.

It was his first and only appearance of the Tasmanian summer sports carnival series and he said he was pleased with his result.

"Going off scratch was always going to be a tough job to get up but really happy overall with it," he said.

"I can't really complain, obviously lost to a much better runner on the day, really great bloke.

"Two and a half metres in front - he put up a great fight to take it out."

Hale was the star attraction at the event with thousands turning up to watch him race.

Having to play catch-up was a novel experience for Hale but he made the most of it.

"It's really good for me because I really enjoy being a back runner," he said.

"It's helping my speed all the time having to try to relax my body and remain calm when there's people that far in front of me."

Burnie Athletic Club chairman Bruce Jackson said the club was thrilled to have Hale participate in the Fulton Hogan Tasmanian Christmas Carnivals Series.

"We are absolutely committed to bringing the Burnie carnival back to its iconic status and being proactive and going after up and coming stars like Jack Hale, is part of that philosophy," Mr Jackson said.

Hale, a long jump specialist from Hobart who is now managed by Athletics Tasmania, became a sprint sensation when he broke the national under-18 record for the 100 metres at the All Schools Track and Field Championships in Adelaide last month.

The athlete ran a wind-assisted 100 metres in 10.13 seconds - the world's fastest recorded time by a young athlete in 2014.

Hale earned the title of Australia's fastest kid when he broke his own national record in October by running 100 metres in 10.42 seconds, shaving 0.02 seconds off his September record of 10.44 seconds.

Hale also holds the Tasmanian men's open 100 metres record.

Athletics Tasmania chief executive Brian Roe said Hale's main focus was the world junior championships next year, which included the Australian national junior championships in March as a qualifier.

"Those two meets have to take priority and everything else will be worked in around them," he said.

Hale is now ranked by the International Association Athletics Federations (IAAF) as the sixth fastest youth in the world and is expected to race in Perth on Friday at the Big 6 meet run by the University of Western Australia.

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