Teenage distance running prodigy Jake Birtwhistle knows nothing other than gold, no matter how big the stage, after winning the ISF World School Cross Country Title in Malta on Tuesday.
The fast and flat 5.3km course offered no challenge to the Launceston native, who finished well ahead of the other 61 competitors in a time of 16m 17s. In what was a great day for the Australian team, with team mates Jack Davies (16.29) and Chartt Miller (16.31) rounding out the podium. This also gave them the team gold.
The competition is open to school students aged 14 -17 years of age and is mainly supported by European countries, with nine other nations competing in Birtwhistles catagory. Even with the lack of African competitors, nothing should be taken away from Jake’s acheivements, as he is a quality world class act, after remaining unbeaten in Australia in recent times.
Jake is a current TIS scholarship holder and made the following interview with ABC radio in 2011.