The previous Cook Islands 400m records listed on the Oceania Athletics website were held by Harmon Harmon and John Herman at 51.1sec and 51.4sec respectably, set in Nuku’alofa in 1998.
Beddoes, whose specialty is the 800m event, recently 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, coached by Australian middle distance specialist Justin Rinaldi.
Beddoes explained that since 2012 he has for the most part had to train alone for long periods, which presented a lot of challenges, and after only making incremental improvements at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in 2018, he knew he had to make a major change to his training if he was to qualify for Tokyo.
“Every session I’m out there chasing guys in the squad that have won IAAF Diamond League events, hold national records and national titles, so I’m pushing harder than ever before, and I’m in an environment of guys that want to win”, said Beddoes.
The national record that Beddoes set was in the 400m heat at the State Champs. He qualified for the 400m semifinals on Saturday, where he clocked 49.40s.
“I haven’t raced in a 400m event for a long time, I hadn’t even practiced on the blocks, my coach wanted to use this as part of our daily training, so it’s not something we targeted, but I’m really glad to get the time and the national record.”
Last week Beddoes also opened his 800m season with a 1 minute 51.5sec race at the Victorian Milers Club, his first race since September 2018, and just off his personal best time of 1:51.1 minutes.
The upcoming events for Beddoes will include the Australian National Championship, the Oceania Championship, the Pacific Games, and depending on qualification, he may step out for his first attendance at the IAAF World Championship held in Doha in September.