By Gord Bowes, News staff
Heading into the 2012 season, Marcus Wu had never picked up a javelin.
His specialty at track and field meets was in the sprints and hurdles, not the throwing events.
With hard work, however, he became adept at the traditional event. He also added high jump, shot put and distance races to his repertoire and started competing in multi-events such as the pentathlon and octathlon.
Even while still on a steep learning curve, Wu was the best in both the pentathlon and octathlon provincially in the youth (17U) division this year. He also finished fourth in the octathlon at the national championship in August.
Last Saturday, he was named the Ontario Athletics youth division athlete of the year in the multi-events category.
“I was ecstatic,” said Wu, a Grade 12 student at Westmount. “All my work all year led up to this. It feels amazing to be top in Ontario.”
The pentathlon is comprised of the shot put, high jump, long jump, hurdles and 1,000m. The events that make up the octathlon are the 100m, 110 hurdles, 400m, 1,000m, high jump, long jump, javelin and shot put.
Next year, Wu will be in the junior division, which includes the full 10-event decathlon. That means learning the pole vault and discus added, plus running 1,500m rather than 1,000m.
“I’ll be starting in November, working on the pole vault,” said. Wu. “It will be a new challenge.”
In previous years, Wu would also play basketball, volleyball, soccer and other sports, but he’s putting them aside to focus solely on the multi-events.
“It’s by far the most complete and physically and mentally challenging of all sports I been involved with,” Wu said of multi-events. “You need to be fast, jump high/far, and have endurance and brute strength.”