News & Updates

15 February 2022 • Track and Field

Hamish looks to Auckland to step up international preparation

Hamish Kerr finished tenth in the men's high jump final at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. (Credit: Alisha Lovrich)

Hamish Kerr hopes to reap the rewards of changing his approach to training at the Sir Graeme Douglas International presented by Harcourts Cooper & Co in Auckland on Sunday (20 February) in what is shaping up as massive year of international championship action for the New Zealand high jump ace.

After placing an impressive tenth at the Tokyo Olympics, Hamish and his coach, Terry Lomax, reassessed his training and have placed a greater emphasis on speed to help the national record-holder (2.31m) soar to new heights.

“After coming home from Tokyo, we went back to the drawing board and looked to the future,” explains Hamish, 25. “I know I can consistently jump in the high 2.20s and low 2.30s and that’s great.

“But we have worked out my technique and put in place a model to be a 2.40m jumper rather than a 2.30m jumper.

“I now have a lot more speed and power going into the take-off. I thought it might take longer to start seeing the benefit of that, but in training I can already see this. The greater speed means more momentum, which will hopefully lead to more height.”

So far this season, Hamish has had a mixed campaign. In his first competition of the season at the Jumps to Music in Hawera he leapt a best of 2.10m before at the Pac ‘n’ Save Cooks Classic in Whanganui he cleared an impressive 2.28m and had three solid attempts at adding 1cm to his national record at 2.32m.

Unfortunately, in his most recent outing at the Team Ledger Harcourts Capital Classic in Wellington he no heighted at 2.24m, but Hamish sucked the positives out of the experience saying he learned a lot from opening his competition at a more demanding height than he typically would.

Next up is the Sir Graeme Douglas International presented by Harcourts Cooper & Co at Douglas Track & Field in West Auckland – a venue where he has some fond memories.

“I remember first competing (at Douglas Track & Field) when I was aged 11 at a Trans-Tasman meet,” adds Christchurch-based Hamish, who originally hails from Auckland. “It was a big deal back then to compete for my country and I was stoked to jump a PB of 1.54m.

Last year Hamish impressed at the Sir Graeme Douglas International clearing 2.28m to win so what are his ambitions for this year’s event?

“The aim during the domestic season has been to set the programme around preparing my body for when I eventually head overseas. On paper this season I’ve had one decent result and two misfires but I’m happy with how it’s gone.

“Sir Graeme Douglas will be one where I’m aiming to jump pretty high. I’ll aim to take off the shackles and really go for it. I just hope for good conditions on the day and go from there.”

Beyond that he plans to compete at the ITM in Christchurch (26 February) and the Jennian Homes Track & Field Championships in Hastings (3-6 March) and hopes to secure a qualification spot for the World Indoor Championships in Belgrade later next month.

With the World Championships in Eugene, Oregon and the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games also taking place later this year there is an unprecedented set of opportunities for the cream of New Zealand athletes and Hamish cannot wait.

“International championships have gone from a drought over the past couple of years to a monsoon this year, and it’s awesome,” he adds. “Every athlete is super excited to get a high level of competition. I just want to get out there and see how the training changes are working.”

But first he says people should tune in and make sure they take the time to watch one of the premier athletics events in New Zealand on Sunday.

“There are not many domestic sporting events in New Zealand where you can see so many Olympians competing at the same time and that I think is something really exciting.”

*Unfortunately, because of Covid restrictions this year’s event will not proceed with spectators. However, you can follow the action on Sky Sport 9 or for free with Sky Sport Now. To watch on Sky Sport Now you can register on Sunday 20 February from 3.30pm by heading to, click on the Sir Graeme Douglas International presented by Harcourts Cooper & Co banner, fill in your name and email address and you will be all set to go!

The Sir Graeme Douglas International presented by Harcourts Cooper & Co is hosted at the Douglas Track & Field in West Auckland. Both the event and venue are named in honour of Sir Graeme Douglas. Douglas Pharmaceuticals has sponsored the annual event since 2018 and is also an Athletics NZ major community partner, backing grassroots athletics nationwide.