Ross scores bronze
CARRYING a stomach injury was not able to deny Gympie masters athlete Dave Ross a bronze medal when competing in the Pan Pacific Games last weekend.
The major event, attracting international competitors from nations in the Pacific in addition to Australia’s finest, was held on the Gold Coast.
Ross competed in the 45-49 age group and it was his first outing at an event of such a large magnitude.
The Gympie athlete contested five events, including long jump, triple jump, discus, shot put and javelin.
His best result was bronze in the discus where he threw 25.35m, shattering his previous best throw of 22.04m.
“I went away with no expectations so to come back with a medal is just great,” he said.
“Breaking my personal best was also a great achievement that I am very proud of.”
While the bronze medal was a highlight, Ross also achieved a fifth in long jump and a fourth in triple jump.
Ross contemplated what he could have achieved had he not been afflicted with a stomach injury.
“I do wonder what I could have done had I not been injured because I was tentative when competing,” he said.
“It was a bit of risk because I could have easily made it worse.”
Meanwhile, the entire experience has given Ross more motivation to continue improving.
“I’ve got the bug now,” he said. “I definitely want to compete in more events like this.”
The Gympie athlete first got involved in the sport when his three children took up Little Athletics with the Gympie Athletics Club.
Always on the sidelines watching, he decided one day to get involved. The rest is history and he now embarks on his third season with the Gympie club.
Making a welcome change for Ross last weekend was having his daughter cheering him on in the stands.
“I was thrilled to have her there,” he said.
“She is used to having me on the sidelines so it was nice to turn the tables this once.”
Looking ahead, Ross is back in training in preparation for the Australian Masters at the QEII Stadium in Brisbane next Easter.
Beyond that, there is the ultimate goal of the 2013 World Masters in Torino, Italy.
“I would like to think I would be able to go and represent Australia,” he said.
“It’s a big goal but there is plenty of time to prepare.”
The Pan Pacific Games bronze medal is just the beginning for the Gympie athlete with absolutely no shortage of ambition.