The Border’s best kept sporting secret is off to the Commonwealth Games.
Wodonga schoolteacher Michael Hosking will contest the 20km walk, after just a handful of attempts at the distance in the past two years.
“It means everything, I’ve been chasing it for a long, long time,” he said excitedly of his greatest sporting moment.
“I probably had the dream at five-six (years of age) because dad (Garry) was an athletics coach, so I’ve been around it for as long as I’ve been able to walk or run.
“But, seriously, it’s been since 2007, my brother reminded me that I had put on the wall India or bust, or something like that, because I wanted to go to the India Commonwealth Games, but I didn’t get to Delhi, so probably chasing it for 11 years I reckon.”
Hosking was a boom junior walker in Canberra, but he moved into running to join his mates.
The 32-year relocated to Wodonga in 2012 and made his name as a long-distance runner.
He finished runner-up in the region’s most prestigious race – the Nail Can Hill – three times, before breaking the drought in 2014, retaining the title the following year.
But he missed 2016 as he had turned his hand to walking in order to qualify for the Rio Olympics.
I put on the wall India or bust ... but I didn’t get to Delhi, so probably chasing it for 11 years.Michael Hosking
“I missed out by 42 seconds,” he said.
Hosking (1:23:10) qualified for April’s Gold Coast Games by finishing as the second Australian at Sunday’s national titles in Adelaide.
“After only 500m, the pack split and I had to make a decision to either go with the front guys, who were too good for me, or stay with the second group,” he said.
“I went with the front group and hung on … if I hadn’t gone with that group, I wouldn’t have made the (qualifying) time.”