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Sprinter clears a new hurdle in Pacific games

(Moonee Valley Leader)
Pierre Van Jager, 18, has qualified for the 400m hurdles at the Pacific School Games in Canberra. N20MT202

A CHANGE has turned out to be much better than a holiday for Pierre Van Jager. The year 11 Essendon Keilor College student has always competed in the 400m sprint.

Now he can add the hurdles to his list of achievements. At the Pacific School Games tryouts in September, the 18-year-old tried his luck in the 400m hurdles, surprising everyone, including himself.

“It was the first time I’d done it and I came first in the final,” he said. “I’m a 400m runner and I thought I’d give the hurdles a go. I didn’t know what to expect but it was pretty good. I didn’t have any technique.”

Pierre now has a coach, Andrew Muhlhan, teaching him the finer points of hurdling. He has shaved three seconds off his best time, which is now 58.91 seconds. But he believes he will have to keep improving to be a threat at the games, in Canberra starting November 30.

Pierre is looking for sponsorship for the trip.

Potential sponsors can phone 9971 7888.

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