News & Updates

15 February 2023 • Track and Field

Hamish Kerr shatters New Zealand high jump record

Hamish Kerr added 3cm to his national high jump record with a 2.34m clearance in Slovakia today. Credit: (Alisha Lovrich).

Commonwealth champion Hamish Kerr advanced to a new stratosphere of international high jumping today after adding 3cm to his national record to soar clear at 2.34m and extend his unbeaten record for the season at the Banska Bystrica indoor meet in Slovakia.

The 26-year-old Christchurch-based athlete achieved his winning height at the first time of asking to defeat Andriy Protsenko, the World Championship bronze medallist from Ukraine, with an Oceania Indoor record and also surpass the automatic entry standard for the 2023 World Athletics Championships in Budapest.

Hamish had a perfect record from his opening height of 2.10m through to 2.30m – which matched his season’s best performance. He missed out on his opening attempt at 2.32m – which would have bettered his previous national record of 2.31m – but he opted to pass his two remaining attempts at this height after Protsenko wriggled clear at 2.32m.

However, the Auckland-raised athlete responded magnificently to the pressure to clear 2.34m and not only set a New Zealand record – which previously stood at 2.31m – but also snare the 26-year-old Oceania Indoor record previously held by Australian Tim Forsyth of 2.33m. It also elevates Hamish to number two on the world lists.

The Kiwi missed out on 2.36m but secured victory after Protsenko could go no higher than 2.32m.

An elated Hamish said: “I’m stoked. We’ve put so much work in and made some big calls over the last 12-18 months about how I train and the approach that I take with my team, so this affirms we are on the right track. I’ve always said I want to be the best in the world, and this is a decent step in the right direction. I’m just so stoked.

“I felt good throughout the competition and thanks to the physical prep I’ve done I’m able to jump deeper into the competition.

“My first attempt at 2.32m I got a little hasty on the bar and then when Protsenko cleared 2.32m, I decided to pass because the reason I’d come to Europe was not to win comps but to jump high. The fact he put me under pressure was really good, but I had full confidence I was going to do it. The 2.34m was a little bit touch and go, I did rattle the bar but as I dropped down on the mat it stayed up. It’s awesome.”

Hamish has been in top form this season after claiming victory in his two domestic meets in Hawera and Whanganui before heading out to Europe for the indoor season, where he clinched victories in Hustopece (2.30m) and Torun (2.27m).

He concludes his European indoor campaign with an outing at the Birmingham World Indoor Tour Final on Sunday 26 Feb (NZ time) before he heads back home to compete at the Jennian Homes New Zealand Track & Field Championships in Wellington from (2-5 March).

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