By Jess Baker
2020 was a difficult year for sport, with virtually every competition postponed and training session under restriction.
But some young athletes, like 13-year-old Stanthorpe boy Jacob Kent, have seen extraordinary success amid the chaos.
In October last year, following a months-long Covid-induced break, Jacob competed at the Queensland All Schools Championships.
He received a bronze medal in Under 14 Discus, also competing in Javelin and Triple Jump events.
“We thought that was it,” said Jacob’s mum Sonia Kent.
“We were then contacted early this year to be informed that he had qualified for the Queensland team to participate at Nationals in April 2021.”
To confirm his placement at the Australian Athletics Championships, Sonia said Jacob first had to compete at the 2021 Queensland Athletics Championships in March.
“He placed first and threw a new personal best,” she said.
So, fresh off his impressive win, Jacob – with his entire family in tow – drove to Sydney for the Australian Athletics Championships.
“Tuesday 13 April arrived and his (competition) was at 2.45pm,” said Sonia.
“The day was long but exciting.”
After three throws in the discus event, Sonia said Jacob was set to place sixth in the competition.
“With one more throw left in the (competition) he had to dig deep,” she said.
“What felt like many, many minutes later we got news from Jacob that he had come second for Discus.”
Jacob had placed second in Australia for boys aged 12- and 13-years-old.
“It feels very good,” said Jacob of his achievement.
“Like all your training has paid off.”
Jacob also competed in the 2021 Little Athletics National Challenge – which was held virtually in March due to Covid-19 – where he placed second in Australia for Under 13 Discus.
With the support of his family, and a slew of accomplishments under his belt, Jacob said he is eager to continue his training with coach Nathan Rogers in preparation for future state and national competitions.