Medallist is back – and he’s in a hurry

Thursday September 19, 2019 Written by Published in Other Sports
Alex Beddoes celebrates as he nears the finish line in the 800 metres final at the Pacific Games in Apia, Samoa. 19071519 Alex Beddoes celebrates as he nears the finish line in the 800 metres final at the Pacific Games in Apia, Samoa. 19071519

Look out for the Cook Islands Olympian golden boy Alex Beddoes: he’s pumped up and ready to race the annual 10km in this year’s Round Raro festival.

 

Hewill line up for the run on Saturday morning for the second time, having run his first in 2014. But this time it’s as a Pacific Games gold medallist, after his triumphant return from Samoa.

His race day approach is to “blow the doors off the first 800m and then see how I go from there.”

He has fond memories of the Round Raro Road Race, having participated in the Round the Rock Relay while attending primary school. “It’s always a great time, so it’s pretty nostalgic for me to come back and run it.”

Beddoes’ running career has been steadily improving. He finished ninth in his 800 metres heat at the 2016 Summer Olympics, with a time of 1:52.76.

Then he took a national record for 800 metres with a time of 1:51.64, a mark he set at the 2018 Commonwealth Games held in Sydney, Australia.

At the Pacific Games he triumphed again, standing on the podium to accept the gold medal for the 800 metre race – then returning to claim gold again in the 1500 metres final.

He has also smashed the Cook Islands national 400 metres record with a 49.19 seconds run in the Victoria State Championship meet at Lakeside Park Stadium in Melbourne, Australia.

The previous Cook Islands 400m records were held by Harmon Harmon and John Herman at 51.1sec and 51.4sec respectively, set in Nuku’alofa in 1998.

Beddoes made the move to Melbourne, Australia, to prepare for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics; he has joined the Fast8 training squad, made up of the current 800m national champions from Australia, New Zealand, Japan, and the Pacific.

The 10km run/walk starts Saturday 7.30am at the Bahai centre in Muri and ends at the Sinai Hall next to the Avarua CICC church.

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