Bendigo athlete Archie Wallis says he is excited ahead of starting his IAAF World Junior Championships campaign in Finland later today, but is not heaping expectations upon himself.
Wallis will run in the 800-metre heats alongside fellow Aussie Lachlan Raper, the duo having finished one-two at the Australian qualifying events for the championships.
After producing close to his best at the qualifiers, Wallis is raring and ready to go.
“I’m very excited to be competing. It’s been a long time in the making, these championships, and they’re finally here, so I’m keen to get out there and see what I can do,” he said.
He said he isn’t putting too much pressure on himself for a result, and is focussing more on backing himself to achieve his potential.
“Racing has never been a strength of mine, I’ve prided myself for being able to complete difficult sessions and to be in very good shape, but the pressure of races and the mental side of things get to me sometimes when I compete,” an extremely honest Wallis said.
“So for these championships I’m not really putting any expectations on myself. Just to go out and leave thinking that I’ve left it all out on the track – just pretend it’s a solid effort in a training session.
“I believe I can run 1:47 if I have a good day, which could make a final if history repeats itself, but I just want to stay relaxed and ensure that I don’t psych myself out and keep my headspace a positive and stress free place.”
The 800m heats will be run later today, with semi-finals tomorrow and the finals as the last individual event of the championships on Sunday.