The World Student Games are the next goal said Bestmed NMMU-Madibaz high jump star Garth Ellis after he grabbed silver at the USSA Championships in Cape Town last weekend.
After clearing 2.10m at the USSA champs, Ellis said he would need to add a few centimetres to his jump in order to qualify for the games that are being held in Taipei in August.
“Although my ultimate goal is to one day make the Olympic team, I also have to focus on the smaller goals like jumping 2.20m in order to get to the games later this year.”
At the start of the season, the human movement sciences student said his objective had been to break the Varsity Athletics record and to medal at both the SA senior and USSA championships.
Ellis started the season off in fine form when he jumped 2.05m to bag gold at the first Varsity Athletics meeting in early March.
The Madibaz athlete secured another gold when he cleared 2.12m – bettering the record by a centimetre – at the second meeting of the series a few weeks later.
He went even higher last month when he equalled his personal best of 2.15m at the national champs in Potchefstroom – an achievement that secured him the bronze medal.
“Now that I’ve equalled my PB I’m hoping to improve on it in the next few competitions,” said Ellis, who hails from Holland Park in Port Elizabeth.
Despite having had little to no formal coaching, Ellis said he had taken advice from a number of coaches to improve his technique.
He said working with his sprint coach, Gerrie Posthumus, had been especially helpful.
“I’ve been doing high jump since I was in grade eight at Andrew Rabie High, but there are no specialist coaches in the Eastern Cape so I’ve mostly had to coach myself.
“I’ve done a lot of research and also made sure to listen to pointers from other athletes and coaches when I’ve taken part in meetings.”
The Madibaz athlete said he had put a lot of effort into achieving top results throughout the season.
“At the end of the day it’s all worth it because it shows that my training is paying off.”