MITCH Williamson is about to get a taste of international competition.
The Orange runner has been selected in the Australian team compete in next month’s Oceania Area Athletics Championships in Tahiti. Williamson has been selected to represent Australia in the open men’s 10,000m.
The 26-year-old was told of his selection via email last week.
“I was pretty happy,” Williamson said.
“You have to show you’re interested in being picked.
“I knew it was a possibility.”
This year’s championships will be a three-day event in Tahiti from June 1-3 and it will be the first time the Orange athlete has been overseas.
Although Williamson has been selected to compete in the 10,000m, he may look at lining up in the 5000m instead.
Last week he suffered a minor back injury and thinks the shorter distance may suit him better in terms of preparing for the championships.
“I’ve just had this problem with my back,” he said.
“In athletics, until it happens and you’re there racing, anything can happen.”
He said he still had to finalise details but there might be a chance he could compete in both events.
Williamson ran a qualifying time of 31 minutes 26.23 seconds for the 10,000m when he finished fourth at the NSW championships in March.
He also delivered a time of 15:21.29 for the 5000m at the NSW 5000m championships, well inside the entry standard of 17:20.
What makes Williamson’s selection more impressive is he doesn’t have a coach.
He trains himself with a group of family and friends.
He has done a lot of research on the internet and studying books to establish a solid training program and it’s delivering results.
“I love doing my own training programs. Sometimes I’ll write up a program for the next three months,” he said.
“I like planning. Every day is different.”
One challenge Williamson will face is adapting to the humidity in Tahiti, especially with Orange’s weather quickly cooling down.
“I might need to go in the sauna to get used to the humidity,” he laughed.
The Oceania championships, which is contested in open and under 23 divisions, will be held in Tahiti from June 1-3.