World under 20’s Wrap: Tom Agnew’s Journal
World under 20’s has been a blast. The whole trip has been a massive learning curve as an athlete and as a person. It started early June on a pre departure trip in Townsville where we all got to know each other and got a taste of what it would be like overseas training, traveling and managing team commitments.
I left Australia on the 26th of June in the second wave to Finland with a pretty large proportion of the team. All up it took something like 36 hours of travel to finally arrive in Pajulahti, a semi-rural area in Finland about two hours from Helsinki with training facilities very similar to the AIS. Here we trained for a bit over a week. The biggest difference apart from the food is that it never really gets dark so we blacked out the rooms as best we could, the sun would still be fully up at 10:30pm then back up around 3:30-4am.
Each day we would have a breakfast buffet at a food hall at about 9am then lunch would be from 11:30 -1:30 then dinner from 4:30-7:00pm, we quickly learnt that the Finnish love their potato and fish. Training would happen around those times, so there was a lot of free time which would be spent hanging around with team mates. It was a really good training environment with the best coaches, medical care and junior athletes in the country. The management team, medical and coaches made everything so easy and it was really evident all the planning and preparation that went into the trip before we left, we were very well looked after and I can’t be thankful enough for that. During our time in Pajulahti we all competed and I was very lucky with conditions on the day I ran and came away with a 100m PB.
On the 5th of July we left to Tampere where world juniors would take place. We stayed in a hotel along with the German, Canadian and Irish team; it was pretty cool to finally meet our competitors. The stadium was a short 5 minute walk from the accommodation which made it very easy to train. Competition started on the 10th, and went till the 15th where we saw strong performances from the whole team. Competing against the world’s best juniors was an insane experience and one that I’ll never forget. I ran second in a strong 4x100m relay team on the 13th. We were coming second when unfortunately we didn’t get the last change over to the forth runner and didn’t progress through to the final. The whole trip went way too fast. I enjoyed every minute of it, I’ve made life long mates and it’s given me a taste and a hunger for more. I can’t wait to get back home and get back into training.
A big thank you to my coach Matthew Beckenham for getting me here and in PB condition and to athletics ACT for the support and help getting me to this stage.