Victorian Institute of Sport

Deng delivers in Hengelo

Monday, 04 June 2018

19-year-old VIS runner, Joseph Deng, has burst onto the international athletics scene recording the 5th fastest 800m time in Australian history.

In a high calibre field, Deng placed second in a time of 1:44.97 to slice almost one second off his personal best at the FBK Games in Hengelo, Netherlands.

A mature Deng won’t let the recent success get ahead of him, keeping a level head after running the fastest time of his career.

“It feels great, but after I leave this meet I’m straight back into training and preparing for my upcoming meets where I hope to run more personal bests.”

Despite being one of the youngest starters in the field, Deng was confident in his ability and recent training form that he would attack the race from the gun.

“I’m always confident in my ability coming into races, if you’re not confident what’s the point of being there in the first place? I knew I was fit enough to hold on so I listened to my coach and followed the pace,” Deng explained.

Deng made a name for himself at the Australia Championships in February, running an impressive 1:45.71 and earning the opportunity to compete at the Commonwealth Games, where he ultimately placed seventh.

With the Commonwealth Games behind him, Deng is looking to make his debut at a major international Championships in the coming years.

“It was an amazing achievement being able to run sub 1:45, but I know there’s still a lot of work to be done leading up to the 2019 World Championships and 2020 Olympics.”

The performance in Hengelo has set himself up for potential starts at IAAF Diamond League meetings for the remainder of the season, giving him every opportunity to rival the Australian record of 1:44.40. Firstly, Deng will turn his focus to the Stockholm Diamond League on 10 June. 

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