After his phenomenal record-breaking performance in the Australian Athletics Championship, the spotlight of the sporting world is now on Sasha Zhoya. In fact, his record-breaking performance at the Australian Athletics Championships has sparked a tug-of-war between France and Australia, who want him to be their representative in the Tokyo Olympics next year and even 2024 Paris Olympics.
The 16-year-old athlete won the Under-20 pole vault with a height of 5.56 meters at the Australian Athletics Championship in Sydney and got the sporting world talking about him. The Perth-born athlete even won the Under-18 110-meter hurdle in 13.05 seconds, which is another world best performance for the teenage sensation.
And this is not it. He even won gold in the Under-20 200m, finishing in 21.18. His exceptional show has got the sporting world going gaga over him.
Talking to Sydney Morning Herald newspaper, John Steffenson, who won silver with Australia in the 4x400m relay at the 2004 Athens Olympics, said Zhoya’s potential was “out of this world”.“Right now, whatever he wants to achieve he will achieve, it’s up to him. There’s no ceiling,” said Steffenson.
While this mounted Australia’s hope in Zhoya, expecting him to clinch Olympic gold in Japan, France was quick to notice that the teenage phenomenon is eligible to represent both the countries.
Though he was born and brought up in Australia, Zhoya’s mother is a French national and he has until December to decide which country he wants to represent in the World Junior Championships and the Tokyo Olympics next year.
“They’re both offering some amazing things. I want to keep a clear head and leave that decision until later in the year. Right now it’s stressful; I’m trying to put it in the back of my mind and not think about it during comps. But it’s definitely popping into my head every 30 seconds,” he told reporters of Australia and France.
For now, Zhoya just wants to focus on his training and prepare for the upcoming sports events.