Flying Harman hits injury hurdle

08/03/2015 by Steve Knowles

A dodgy hamstring means Papamoa's Kodi Harman won't be around to defend his national beach sprint and flags titles this week, though he's got the recently-acquired title of New Zealand's fastest man to ease that disappointment

The 20-year-old flyer won his first senior 100m title at the New Zealand track and field championships in Wellington on Friday, clocking 10.47secs ahead of Auckland's James Mortimer (10.62) and Alex Jordan (Wellington), who was third in 10.65.

Papamoa's Kodi Harman, right, on his way to victory in last year's national beach sprint championships.
Photo by Jamie Troughton/Dscribe Media Services

His jubilation was tempered, however, pulling out of the 200m heats with injury.

"I came around the bend and my hammy tightened - I didn't actually pull it but it tightened pretty badly so I didn't even walk through the line," Harman explained. "It still feels pretty tight today so I'll just go and get some treatment and hopefully be back at least jogging next week. It's been an up and down season - I've been fighting so many injuries since I got back from surf worlds and it's been frustrating, so I was pretty surprised to come away with the 100m win."

He'll miss the New Zealand surf lifesaving championships, which start in Gisborne on Thursday, having become just the sixth man to win the beach flags/sprint double last year at Ohope. Surf lifesaving helped launch his athletics career and he came away with a beach sprint bronze at last year's world championships in France.

He aims to be fit again for the Australian track championships at the end of this month, with the Australian surf lifesaving championships and the world university games also looming.

Friday's win meant he now has a full collection of national junior, youth and senior 100m titles, although the latest would've been a lot sweeter if great mate and training partner Joseph Millar had also been able to line up.

Millar has collected an unprecedented triple-double - the 100-200m double at the past three national championships - but a back injury ruined his campaign this year.
"I'm stoked and relieved to have won, although it would've been far better if Joey had been there as well… it probably would've been a different story too!" Harman said. "I feel for the guys who should've been there so it doesn't quite feel like a proper championship win but I guess it's in the record books."

*The New Zealand surf lifesaving championships start on Thursday at Midway Beach in Gisborne and finish on Sunday.  Nearly 1500 competitors are expected to attend.