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January 16, 2013
Star Sport


 

Bolt-inspired sand champ switches to track
Ryon Jones, Staff Reporter


Jordon Caldow presents an official Australian cricket shirt to principal of G.C. Foster, Edward Shakes, during yesterday's press briefing to launch the Australia/Jamaica Track and Field Camp at The Courtleigh Hotel in New Kingston. - Gladstone Taylor

World Under-19 men's Surf Lifesaving Champion, Jordon Caldow, has found himself caught up in the euphoria created by sprint legend Usain Bolt and his other Jamaican colleagues, which has aided a decision to switch from running in sand to the track.

"It is impossible not to be inspired," Caldow told Star Sports.

"You watch press interviews with Usain Bolt and he is impressive. It is not just his competitive nature and his ability; it's his persona and his attitude towards the sport.

"Then you got other people like even Asafa Powell and even (Yohan) Blake. You can't watch people that good at their sport and not be inspired."

The 19-year-old Australian has Jamaican ties, with his father having been born here before migrating. Caldow, who is in the island as part of a 14-member Australian contingent that will be participating in a two-week track and field camp, is making his first visit to Jamaica.

"While I am only half Jamaican, I am still getting faster, and I am curious to see if I can make it to the Olympic level," Caldow said.

"If those boys (Jamaica's male runners) can do it and I have half their genetics, I would like to see how far I can go."

Caldow won the Under-19 World Championship beach sprint race on November 12 of last year at Glenelg in South Australia, but believes a "step forward in track is a step back in sand".

Sand racing is done barefooted, with the participants digging their blocks in the sand. The race is run over 90 metres and not 100 metres, as is the norm for outdoor short sprint races on tracks.

"Jamaicans would be so good at beach sprinting, but it is not a sport here," Caldow said.


Jamaica's Usain Bolt.

"So you can only get so far in beach sprinting, you cannot really compete against the best, and for me the drive is to see how good I can get.

Being 19 and having already beat everyone else in the world, I have to think what next, and for me track is next."

Caldow is yet to run a competitive race on a track, as he has been finding it difficult to make the transition.

"Over the last few years I have improved notably on sand and on grass, but my fastest time on track is still 10.80 seconds from when I was 17 years old."

His first big track race will be the Australian Nationals in mid-April.

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