Two-time Olympian Brandon Starc is expected to make a welcome return to competition this Friday after his Australian summer was frustrated by a pelvic injury.

The 30-year-old hasn’t competed since last September, but the New South Wales Institute of Sport (NSWIS) scholarship athlete told journalists Zachary Gates (Wide World of Sport website), Cody Kaye (Fox Sports), Jonathan Drennan (Sydney Morning Herald), and Brent Read (The Australian) at a NSWIS press conference prior to his leaving Sydney to train in Japan that he planned to compete in three competitions throughout May.

The contests include the Shizuoka International Athletics Meet on Friday; the What’s Gravity Challenger in Doha on May 9, and then the Golden Grand Prix in Tokyo on May 19.

Starc, who is in Japan with his coach Alex Stewart and training partners Eleanor Patterson and Erin Shaw said he planned to “unleash” at the Paris Olympics because it was unlikely he’d be lining up for the 2028 Los Angeles Olympic Games.

Brandon Starc celebrates after clearing his jump during the Men’s High Jump at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

Starc also admitted that missing out on a Tokyo Olympic Games medal when he finished in fifth place after jumping 2.35m – a mark that would’ve medalled at every Olympics stretching back to the 1992 Barcelona Games.

“That fire, that drive, that missing medal,” he replied when asked to articulate what, exactly, was pushing him in the countdown to Paris. “That global medal is still not there, and time is running out.

“LA is not going to happen, probably . . . I’ll be pretty old by then. That drive, that fire . . . It’s there underneath and I’m ready to unleash.”

Starc said he was confident he’d be fine to shine at Paris after recovering from the pelvic injury that prevented him from competing in the recent National Championships in Adelaide.

“The way we’re tracking now, things are looking good,” he said. “The belief is as high as it has ever been. There’s been a bit of a few rocky years since Tokyo, but I think we’re on top of things. I have pretty good expectations for how things will go.”

“The rehab-prehab program that I underwent to get to this stage now — I’ll continue that through,” he said. “From how I’m feeling now I know that [it] worked.

“We’re jumping in training now and I’m pulling up fine; no feelings at all, no symptoms. So, I’m pretty confident it’s going to be good.”

“The big goal is Paris. I don’t want to rush it. It’s been a tricky road back. I’ve had to be very patient.

“Alex has done a really good job in being patient and programming. I’m confident to say we’re past it. The pelvis is feeling great.

“Leading into these next couple of comps in Japan and Doha, I think we’re looking very positive.”

Coach Alex Stewart said he was confident his athletes had it in them to stand on the podium at Paris.

“Not at all,” he replied when asked if people were getting ahead of themselves by talking about Olympic medals. “[on] Day one of the training year we talk about it: ‘Why are we here?’

“There is a process you need to adhere to, and need to respect. But, essentially, we’re in the business of winning medals. The aim is to stand on top of the so the conversations need to centre around that.”

Daniel Lane, NSWIS

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