Zoe Hobbs shifts focus to Commonwealth Games after missing World Champ 100m finals

By Mana Wikaire-Lewis

Aoteroa’s fastest woman Zoe Hobbs (Ngāti Ruahine) says she didn’t expect to run so fast when she broke her own Oceania women’s 100m record of 11.08 seconds, beating her previous record of 11.09 seconds, on Sunday.

“It was a real shock, and to run it in the rain at the World champs where we didn’t actually prioritise" setting a record, she says. "It was actually nice to do that early, to give me a confidence boost."   

Yesterday, however, saw her fail to qualify for the final, after placing fifth in the semifinals. She placed 14th overall.

“I managed to get a really good start," she says.

“For me, it’s about not tightening up in the late phases of the race. I did panic a little bit and started to tense up which I ended up suffering for it and the others managed to bite back and catch up.”

A couple of false starts in the semis gave her a bit of frustration, Hobbs says. “You do start to get quite fidgety and agitated, probably more annoying in that sense but mentally I just tried to hold it together. I still managed to get a good start so I’m quite happy.”

Paris Olympics target

Hobbs now shifts her focus to the Commonwealth Games, which start at the end of July.

“Ultimately [at the Commonwealth Games] I just want a PB (personal best). I would absolutely love to run under 11 seconds. Whether that comes soon, this year, I’m not too sure but I’ll be pushing and it’ll be crazy.

“I just want to build on what I’ve worked here and try and piece it together.”

And even looking past the Games, Zoe is also looking at putting in the mahi to set up an Olympic Games appearance in Paris in the future.

“In my athletics career, that’s the pinnacle. From building on these experiences here, hopefully it can lead to, one day, making it to the Olympics.”