Olympian Charlie Hunter contested the men’s 800m at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.
Growing up on the NSW Central Coast Charlie Hunter was more likely to be swimming and surfing than running. At school football and rugby were his chosen sports, however, athletics was always in the picture joining Little Athletics as an under-9.
Charlie was the U20 Australian champion for 1500m in 2015, having just finished high school. In 2017, the 21-year-old, saw his times start to improve from 3:50 to 3:41 and reached out to Oregon University for a scholarship. Charlie soon left Australia to start his Business Administration Degree at the University of Oregon and to train on the prestigious middle-distance program, making the NCAA 1500m final in his first season (2019).
In his second year, he was set for a big 2020 indoor season, where in early races he had taken 12 seconds from his mile PB, he recalls being in Albuquerque, New Mexico, ready to compete at the NCAA Indoors when the day before the championships they were cancelled due to COVID. Making things worse, his parents were travelling to watch him compete. The next day Hunter was back in Oregon and the following day he flew back to Australia. Shortly after the Olympics were postponed.
During his six months back in Australia he recalls how different training was, instead of training at one of the best venues in the world ‘TrackTown USA’, he was running on a treadmill in his garage looking at a brick wall. He said it made him value his time in Oregon and after six months he returned.
In his first three races in 2021 he broke the Australian indoor records at 800m and the mile twice, clocking stunning times of 1:45.59 and 3:53.49. At the NCAAs he won two gold in the individual 800m and as a member of the medley relay. In the 2021 outdoor NCAAs he was third in the 800m, clocking two outdoor PBs of 1:45.75, then 1:45.23.
Two weeks later he destroyed his indoor and outdoor PBs clocking 1:44.35 – making him the second fastest in Australian history.