Health scare ends champ’s run of titles

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A health scare has dashed Alex Jordan’s hopes of winning the 400m title for the third year in a row at this weekend’s New Zealand Track and Field Championship.
The 20 year old Massey University student will only enter the 4x100m relay alongside his Tasman team-mates with his future in his favoured 400m event now up in the air.
Alex, who has the sixth equal fastest 400m time ever run in New Zealand of 46.40 seconds, was still visiting specialists to fully understand the implications of what he labelled “health issues”, which was confirmed after his kidneys shutdown following a race in Christchurch earlier this year, landing him a night in Wellington Hospital.
It is believed heart and kidney problems are combined with a hyper sensitive nervous system, which means Alex is in more agony at the completion of a 400m than other runners.
Speaking on the phone from Wellington, Alex says he has been given the green light to ease back into training, with a complete overhaul of pre-race nutrition, warm up and warm down exercises but he was still in the dark over his future on the track.
“We are just ticking things off on a day-to-day basis,” he says. “It appears my hyper sensitive nervous system is the main thing affecting me which then affects the kidney and the rest of my body.”
Because the diagnosis came at a time when Alex had yet to run a 400m this season, and the fact he has taken five weeks off, he was resigned to the fact his attempt at a third national title in a row was now over.
“For the past month I’ve been out of running. I haven’t been able to do any kind of anaerobic work which is key for a 400m runner. I’ve only been able to do slow jogs and go to the gym.
“I’m going to go to nationals and run in the 4x100m though, just because I feel like I have a duty to the Tasman team,” he says.
Alex says he plans to run the 400m in the future, but the chances of moving up to the 800m were ever more likely.
“In the long term I know I will be able to run fast again I just need to work into it. I have at least another eight years of running competitively so I have to think about the long term picture, getting myself right and getting back to 100 per cent fitness.
“It was always my long term goal to move up to the 800m in the next 12 months, because it’s more aerobic than anaerobic there is a chance I’ll move it forward earlier because it’s easier on my body.”