A few months back, Django Lovett laid out his intentions for the upcoming track and field season.
The list contained some lofty goals for the high jumper, which included earning a spot on Canada’s team for the Commonwealth Games where he could gain valuable experience and place top five in the world and perhaps find the podium.
“As well, I’m aiming to break the 2.30m barrier, which in high jump is commonly considered a mark of becoming a truly world class high jumper,” he explained to the Times.
“This mark would open the door for a level of professionalism to further extend my athletic career.”
And last week (April 11) at the Games in Gold Coast, Australia, the 25-year-old from Langley did all of that as he captured the bronze medal with a new personal best, clearing 2.30m.
“This is a dream come true,” he said to the Athletics Canada website.
“To come out here and showcase my talent — it’s been a long time coming and I’m thrilled to finally put it together in front of such an amazing crowd.”
Australia’s Brandon Starc won the gold at 2.32m while Jamaica’s Jamal Wilson took bronze at 2.30m as he had few misses than Lovett.
Lovett was perfect during qualifications and entered the final at 2.18m.
He did attempt 2.32m but retired from the competition for precautionary reasons.
He was apparently on crutches afterwards after feeling a pull in his hamstring but did not seem overly concerned.
“I seized up, called it, and will save it for another day,” he said. “I’ve got some ice on here and we’ll be good in no time.”
Having set a new personal best, Lovett said he doesn’t want to put a ceiling on what he feels he can achieve.
“I don’t want to set a limit,” he said. “I was jumping well today and I had some height. I think I could have gone higher.”
Lovett is no stranger to success in high jump.
While attending Brookswood Secondary — he graduated from the school in 2010 — Lovett capped of his high school career with three consecutive senior boys titles in the event at the BC high school provincial championships. Lovett also won bronze in 2009 at the 2009 world youth championships.
After graduating from the University of New Mexico in 2015, where he attended on a full-ride athletic scholarship, Lovett moved to White Rock as he works towards qualifying for the world championships and the 2020 Olympics.
He still trains with the Abbotsford-based Valley Royals track and field club.
Lovett, who turns 26 this July, did manage to crack the IAAF top 50 rankings in 2017.
And according to Douglas Clement, an organizer with the Harry Jerome International Track Classic in Burnaby, Lovett’s stock is on the rise, especially since he began training under Mike Mason, one of Canada’s top high jumpers of all time.
“With Django, it’s another miracle where everything comes together at the right time,” Clement said, “Training with Mason has definitely helped … it’s the younger guy overcoming his mentor over the years.
“Mason is a very good jumper who is getting older and suddenly the apprentice is taking over.”
— with files from Trevor Beggs Black Press