Sixteen-year-old Sasha Zhoya says he wants to “show the world what he can do” after winning three golds and breaking two junior world records in a matter of days at the Australian Athletics Championships.
Zhoya cleared 5.56m – higher than any other 16-year-old – in the under-20 pole vault to win his first medal.
He dominated the under-18 100m hurdles, winning in 13.05 seconds to set a new world record for a 16-year-old, and narrowly missed out on breaking a national record in the under-20 200m.
His winning time of 21.18 seconds – impeded by strong winds – was just 0.3 seconds short of the national record.
Zhoya’s pole vault performance was a world under-18 best and was close to the qualifying standard for the World Championships.
“Not everyone can be Usain Bolt but I’m going to work my butt off to be Usain Bolt as Sasha Zhoya,” he previously told the West Australian.
“We’ve had a couple of big names in Australia and I want to be the biggest. I want to show the world what I can do.”
Zhoya is based in Perth – the city of his birth – but he is also eligible to represent France through his mother, who is a former French skier.
He said on Saturday he considers himself Australian but “it’s definitely a tug of war”.
“Being born here, I grew up here, all my friends are here. In my heart I want to do Australia but I need to see how things go,” he added.
“It’s a struggle.”