Bankstown Sports Athletics Club, Kyle Cranston, Universiade
The Universiade is one of the largest international sporting events in the world, attracting more than 20,000 athletes from 170 countries. Held every two years, there are summer games and winter games, which are widely viewed as a stepping stone for emerging young sport stars wanting to compete in future Commonwealth and Olympic Games. In other words, it’s the Olympic Games for students.
Kyle Cranston has been a member of the Bankstown Sports Athletics Club throughout his childhood and teenage years, and he is currently studying Exercise and Sports Science at the Australian Catholic University. He has also just become Australia’s first ever medallist in the decathlon at the Summer Universiade.
The decathlon consists of ten events held over two consecutive days, including 100m sprint, hurdles, 400m and 1500m run, shot put, javelin, high jump, long jump, discus and pole vault. It requires athletes to be a ‘Jack of all trades’.
The 24-year-old was ranked twelfth heading into the games and began his 10-event campaign in spectacular fashion, leading the competition at the end of day 1. He had scored a personal best total of 4016 points after a time of 11.12 seconds in the 100m sprint heats, a 7.04m long jump, a PB throw of 13.76m in the shot put, 1.98m clearance in the high jump and a 400m run recorded in 48.99 seconds.
On the second day, Kyle smashed the 110m hurdles, threw 41.53m in the discus, recorded an equal PB clearance of 4.60m in the pole vault, threw 56.30m in the javelin and then finished the 1500m in 4:42.08. His goal was to reach 7600 points overall which is the Commonwealth Games B qualifier, and he surpassed that with a total of 7687. He also took home the gold medal!
What’s even more extraordinary, is that he has coached himself for the past 12 months, while receiving some support for the technical and mental aspects of the discipline.
He is now going to focus his attention on the upcoming Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast, and getting an ‘A’ qualifier for the event.