A hamstring tweak couldn’t prevent Eddie Van der Jagt from re-writing the history books as he set a new record in the Masters 50-55 long jump event at the NSW Titles.
Van der Jagt felt tightness in his hamstring in one of his final practices and he only confirmed he would compete the night before the event.
However, the 50-year-old was able to avoid further damage to the hamstring and jump 5.77m to beat the previous record of 5.69m.
“The first couple of jumps was to see if I was going to tear a muscle but after the second one I thought ‘okay, it’s time to get into it now’,” Van der Jagt told the Argus.
The Crescent Head resident wasn’t challenged by other competitors and won the event convincingly, but inner goals spurred Van der Jagt to push himself to the limits.
Van der Jagt holds the 45-50 years long jump record and it’s been his goal to achieve a record in two age groups.
“The main goal was to get the record, it’s what pushes me to train hard,” he said.
Van der Jagt left it until his final jump but he knew once he was in the air and before he hit the ground that the record was his.
“I psyched myself up and felt the pressure but all the spectators and other competitors were clapping and cheering me on,” Van der Jagt said.
“I focused on hitting the board hard and I took off and I knew I had it.”
Achieving the new record won’t slow Van der Jagt down as he plans to extend his own record and he claims the 6m mark is within reach.
“My preparation wasn’t the best with the injury and also I didn’t head down to Sydney until the day before which didn’t help the legs,” Van der Jagt said.
“With an injury free preparation and going down a couple of days earlier, clearing 6m is definitely possible.”
Van der Jagt hasn’t ruled out challenging for the 56-60 years NSW long jump record but acknowledges plenty can change in five years.
The long jump athlete won’t travel to Perth to compete in the Australian titles later in the year.