Jack Hale has started the new year on the right foot.
The 22-year-old Hobart runner set the Australian record for the 100 yards at 9.43 seconds during the David Baxter 100 Yards Championship at Geelong.
This eclipsed a 55-year-old record for the distance held by Gary Eddy of 9.52 seconds.
Hale said it was really good to be in personal best shape this early in the year, however his focus remained on fine-tuning his 100m.
"It's a positive going forward ... would've been nice to get it in 100m conditions - that's obviously the my favoured event," he said.
"To open up how I did and throw something out there is really promising going forward being an Olympic year.
To open up how I did ... is really promising going forward being an Olympic year.Jack Hale
"It's good to see I'm in shape and good to see I can produce something that would equate to a 10:20 [100m equivalent] this time of year."
While Hale admitted the obscure 100 yards was not his forte, he was nonetheless pleased with the accomplishment.
"Yes I'm very proud of it, but I know the 100m is where my head has to be at," he said.
Saturday's record-setting run was a good indication of how ready Hale was for the Tokyo Olympics, slated for mid-2021.
"I missed it last time [Rio 2016] by .05 seconds so that was a bit disheartening as an 18-year-old," he said.
"But obviously I'm faster and stronger now and running the times I did then already so to be running a sort of Olympic time in my first run of the year is really positive.
"It's an awesome feeling but it's also a lot of hard work between now and then so I can keep that ball rolling and keep positive with it all."
While individual events will get priority, Hale hasn't ruled out entering the relay given his past success in the field.
"Definitely the individual [events] will be the number one priority for me in any setting," Hale said.
"When we have a team so committed and talented like we do now, there's no reason why we can't do well in the relay.
"My main focus will be on that individual performance, but knowing that relay team - which I'm very committed to as a member - there's no reason we can't be trained to run that as well."
ELSEWHERE IN SPORT
While Hale is positioned well for a Tokyo run, he said a lot need to be maintained between now and July.
"I need to keep the ball rolling in terms of speed work, as well as keeping injury-free are going to be so critical priorities over the next six months," Hale said.
"If I can do those, it will equate into a fast 100m time.
"It's going to be [about] staying resilient body-wise and putting in the right smart and hard work in the sense of speed, fitness as well as strength and keeping that in harmony."