Olympic decathlon bronze medallist Ash Moloney has confirmed he has his sights on a massive 2022 season including the world championships and the Commonwealth Games.
Olympic decathlon bronze medallist Ash Moloney has confirmed he has his sights set on gruelling world championships and Commonwealth Games double this July and August.
The superbly talented 22-year-old captured Australia’s attention when urged on by teammate and Gold Coast Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Cedric Dubler at the Tokyo Olympics.
Moloney continued his medal winning exploits taking bronze in the seven-event heptathlon at the recent world indoor championships in Belgrade, despite nursing his consistent knee injuries through the competition.
The injury, and the fatigue from travel, will keep Maloney out of the Australian athletics titles in Sydney this weekend, but the Brisbane-based multi-eventer confirmed he has his sights set on two big challenges in 2022… plus the Brisbane 2032 Olympics when he feels he will be at his absolute
“It’s good if I can prevent injuries to help the longevity of my career,” he told AAP.
“2032 is in Brisbane, and I want to make it to there – so I need to stay healthy until then.”
It may feel like a lifetime away but when he looked up at Canada’s Damian Warner, who’d beaten him to gold in both Tokyo and Belgrade, it offered real encouragement.
Warner won Commonwealth Games gold in Glasgow in 2014 and was on track to defend his title on the Gold Coast before no-heighting in the pole vault.
“There’s a good decade to go until Brisbane but decathletes tend to make it until they’re between 28 and 32. Well, Damian is 32 and he’s absolutely blowing everyone out of the water at the moment,” mused the Logan star.
“I look up to that guy so much and I hope to be like him one day.”
Taking that long view means Moloney has to make some hard choices, though – like giving a miss to this week’s national championships in Sydney.
“I’d love to do nationals but I fly 24 hours (back from Belgrade) to get back home and I don’t want to hurt myself trying to compete with jet lag,” explained Moloney after his competition in Belgrade.
“I love competing on home soil but unfortunately this year I’ve got bigger fish to fry.”
Eugene’s World Championship and Birmingham’s Commonwealth Games decathlons are the big catches, crammed into the space of 19 days in July and August.
Some distinguished figures like two-time Olympic champion Ashton Eaton has suggested doing both would be a mistake because of the physical stresses.
But Moloney is going for the double.
“I’ll keep the body together with some sticky tape and some glue,” he laughs, saying he’ll make the occasional appearance in Australia before Eugene while adamant there’ll be no decathlons anywhere before the worlds.
Competition and body management is going to be crucial for Moloney.
During the world indoors, both he and his coach Eric Brown sensed over pushing in the high jump could have had long-term consequences.
“I’ve been dealing with patellar tendonitis in my right knee for some time now. High jump’s a very technical event, there’s a lot of twisting and you’ve got to do it right,” said Moloney.
“I was actually in better condition than in Tokyo, but I didn’t want to go back to where I was pre-Tokyo when I could barely walk.
“The idea was let’s actually make it to the next world championships (in Eugene) rather than going for medals that will prevent me going.”
Moloney reckons he’s still learning what he calls a “monster of an event” and admits that he still gets “the jitters” when going into the big events.
Again, he looks to the likes of Warner.
“It’s still a new experience for me every time I compete, but if you watch the more experienced guys like Damian, there’s no stress, he’s cool as!
“Those boys all have the confidence. Experience gives you confidence and I don’t trust myself 100 per cent yet – but it’s coming!”