Local athlete Matthew Walk set a new World Record when he represented Australia at the recent Virtus Asia Oceania Games, winning a gold medal in the 100 metre relay.
The Virtus Asia Oceania Games are an international multi-sport competition in the Oceania Asia region for elite athletes with an intellectual impairment.
Matthew participated in 100 metres, 200 metres and long jump, competing strongly across all the events.
Matthew’s mother Wendy Walk said she was proud of his achievements, encouraging him to continue to strive to do his best.
“To qualify, Matthew had to do his times for the track events and his distances for his qualifications for down syndrome,” Wendy said.
“He was overwhelmed when he won the gold medal and was very excited and happy.
“He is looking forward to continuing training and trying to compete at other games if he gets selected.
“I’m very proud of him for competing, it has given him more confidence and met a lot of friends through the event.”
Matthew has been competing in athletics for many years and currently trains with the Bargara Little Athletics club.
Secretary Elissa Wyatt said the club was immensely proud of Matty and what he had achieved.
“This was a fabulous opportunity for Matthew, not only to be selected to compete, but for the experience of competing at an international level,” she said.
“To walk away with a gold medal and a world record in the relay, is such a wonderful achievement.
“Matthew is a great ambassador for disability not being an inability!”
Elissa said Matty was a great inspiration for those who were also training hard to achieve their goals.
“Everyone can have dreams and goals, work hard to achieve them and have fun doing what they love.
“Little Athletics is all about family, fun and fitness and encouraging athletes to be their best, a motto that we strongly promote at our club.
“Matthew joined Bargara Little Athletics in 2020, competing as a member of our Little Athletics club for two years as an Under 16 and Under 17 athlete and has now returned as a senior athlete.
“He enjoys running in particular and has achieved well at several Little Athletics Competitions in the Multi-Class category during 2020 and 2021 and this year at the Maryborough Day/Night Carnival and the Special Olympics National Games held recently in Tasmania.”
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