Josh Byron on track for next big test

And he's off: Josh Byron has just returned from Rarotonga in the Cook Islands, where he competed in the Oceania Area Championships on June 24-26. Picture: Helen Nezdropa

And he's off: Josh Byron has just returned from Rarotonga in the Cook Islands, where he competed in the Oceania Area Championships on June 24-26. Picture: Helen Nezdropa

HE'S only been back in training for six months, so imagine Josh Byron's surprise when he was chosen to be on the Australian athletics team competing in the Oceania Area Championships in the Cook Islands.

"After what almost became an indefinite break from the track, I was over the moon to even make nationals," he said

The Winston Hills athlete ran a national qualifying time at the NSW Country Championships to gain automatic entry to the Australian Junior Championships.

Josh was encouraged by one of his mates to nominate himself for this year's Oceania team.

He represented his country in the 400 metres hurdles in the junior (under-20s) division, placing fifth despite strong early-season form.

"He was running personal-best times every time he took to the track," his father and 400 metres coach, Paul Byron said.

At the championships, he began well but then lost the lead.

"The guy who won it, another Aussie, — broke a record," Mr Byron said.

Asked about his future goals, Josh said: "Selection for the World Junior Championships in two years time, then the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast in 2018.

"But the big goal is to hopefully qualify for the Tokyo Olympics in 2020."

His other long-time coaches are Charles Tees (sprints) and Wayne Clark (hurdles).

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