Commonwealth Games 2022: Athletics, running, sprint, calendar, men’s 4x100m relay, Jack Hale, video

If you don’t remember the nickname “Hale Storm,” you might remember a viral video of a schoolboy sprint sensation.

It was 2014 – and a 16-year-old by the name of Jack Hale threw a 10.13-second 100m to conquer Australia’s all-school carnival.

The weather was not legal as the Adelaide peloton was helped by a strong gust of wind, but a speedster from Tasmania had established himself as a big hope in the Australian sprint.

READ MORE: Dance Australian favorites to the final

READ MORE: Bellamy’s ‘hysteria’ plea as star slams nasty move

READ MORE: Ricciardo rocked by team’s brutal contract call

The chorus of oohs and aahs raining down on Hale has since diminished considerably, but Australia will get another glimpse of the mercurial talent when they line up in the 4x100m relay at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.

Hale, now 24, has yet to don green and gold at a major championship as an individual athlete.

But if you thought he had given up on making the dream come true, think again.

Jack Hale has been on a dive since he shot to fame eight years ago, but he’s yet to give up on earning an individual spot for Australia at a major championship. (Adam Nurkiewicz/Getty Images for the IAAF)

“That’s why I’m here…my only goal after this competition (the Commonwealth Games) is, ‘How can we get to the Paris Olympics in the best shape possible as an individual runner in the 100 m?'” Hale told Wide World. Sport.

“It’s going to take a long time. I now have the experience of missing the Tokyo Olympics by a few places, so the next two years are going to be crucial.”

The schoolboy who finished second in Hale’s 2014 whirlwind race was Rohan Browning – the larrikin with a flying mule who clinched a place in the semi-finals of the Tokyo Olympics and eclipsed Yohan Blake along the way.

Hale’s fastest times in 2014, 2015 and 2016 surpassed those of Browning, and he still holds the national under-18 record – a 10.38 recorded in Perth in 2015.

But in the years since Hale’s heyday as a schoolboy, the likes of Browning, Jake Doran and Trae Williams beat him to Australian representation.

As is the case in Birmingham, the only event Hale competed in at the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast was the 4x100m relay.

Jack Hale was Australia’s fastest schoolboy. (Robert Prezioso/Getty Images)

“A lot of things happen in this sport,” Hale said.

“Things like wounds appear.

“At the end of the day, you don’t run at your best every season, so it’s about getting it right and being as sustainable as possible every year that hits the scene.”

Hale produced the fastest Australian time of 2020, but Browning hit back with the 12 best times of 2021.

While Browning cut his personal best to 10.01, the fastest time Hale could muster was 10.21.

“I didn’t come back in 2021 in the best shape,” Hale said.

“I think those are the things I attribute it to.

“I kind of rocked in 2020, best shape of my life, sixth fastest ever, and then with things canceled (due to the COVID-19 pandemic) you obviously put things back in a practice prospect trying to move forward, but things haven’t happened in 2021. I think it’s built up on that.

Rohan Browning edged out Jack Hale for Australian representation. (David Ramos/Getty Images)

“I think going forward it’s all about putting together a good training block and being as sustainable as possible.”

Hale recorded a 10.12 in Perth in 2020, which would have met the qualifying standards for any Olympic Games prior to the Tokyo edition.

But the threshold for the Tokyo Games was 10.05, which was reached by Browning but no other Australian.

As Hale pursues an individual spot on Australia’s Paris 2024 Olympics squad, he operates with the one mindset that cuts him short.

“At the end of the day, 10:12 a.m. isn’t that great on the world stage…you’re shooting a little low. You really have to be around that 10:00 a.m. to 9:90 a.m. range,” Hale said.

“I think I, as an individual, can do that. Look, in two years, if I can’t do that, that’s not where I want to be in this sport. It’ll be 10 years in 2024 that I If I can’t make the Olympic team (as an individual) in this form from 10:00 a.m. to 9:90 a.m., I’m doing something wrong.”

The first leg of the Commonwealth Games 4x100m relay event is scheduled for Saturday evening (AEST) and the last for Sunday evening.

The Australian team consists of Hale, Browning, Doran, Joshua Azzopardi, Jacob Despard and Chris Mitrevski.

Hale says he is “very impressed” with the heights reached by Browning and denies being reluctant to his ascent of the pound.

“There’s no urge in any way, shape or form in this situation,” Hale said.

“We have been great competitors for years now. I think in the future it will be even better.

“If he can get up and ready to race on the Australian circuit that will be great, and if I can get myself in that shape from 10:00 to 10:10 it will be a good race.”

Hale hopes this race will capture an individual spot for the Paris Olympics, as he seeks to rediscover the mojo behind his schoolboy stardom.

For a daily dose of the best news and exclusive content from Wide World of Sports, subscribe to our newsletter by click here!

You may also like...