Keenan set to compete at junior world championships
Adam Keenan is enjoying one of the brightest periods of his young track-and-field career.
The 18-year-old hammer thrower, who moved to Kamloops from Victoria last August to train with National Throws Centre coach Anatoliy Bondarchuk, is slated to compete this weekend at the IAAF World Junior Championships in Barcelona, Spain.
“Basically, I’m just learning a bit about the culture, the city itself and continuing training before the meet,” Keenan told KTW from Barcelona.
“I’m here with Team Canada. The team is great . . . lots of amazing people and talent.”
Keenan easily cleared the qualifying standard of 66.20 metres earlier this season, throwing 72.42 metres at the Kamloops Track and Field Centennial Meet in May.
He is scheduled to compete in the six-kilogram men’s hammer throw qualification round on Friday, July 13.
The final is scheduled for Saturday, July 14.
“This is a competition with a number of incredible competitors who can all throw a big one at any time,” said Keenan, Sport B.C.’s male high-school athlete of the year in 2011.
“I’m confident in myself, however, and, as far as mental issues go, I’m feeling great.
“This should be fun.”
Keenan was a throwing machine at the 2011 B.C. high-school championships, winning gold in hammer throw, discus and shot put with Lambrick Park secondary under the tutelage of throws coach Sheldan Gmitroski.
He also placed first at junior nationals and won bronze at the Pan American junior Games in 2011.
Keenan’s decision to turn down multiple U.S. schools in favour of training in the River City is paying off.
Bondarchuk is widely considered the world’s best throws coach and Keenan has improved greatly under his guidance, annihilating his personal-best throw by more than three metres at a meet in Arizona in March.
Keenan’s plan for this weekend is simple: “The goal is to throw as far as I can on the day and to try and make Canada proud,” he said.