TOP TEN: AWD 200m runner Mitch Christiansen is ranked the 8th best runner in the world in T37 category after running two personal bests in recent competition.
TOP TEN: AWD 200m runner Mitch Christiansen is ranked the 8th best runner in the world in T37 category after running two personal bests in recent competition. Tim Howard

Christiansen enjoys run into world rankings

ATHLETICS: Watching his world ranking slip back into single figures has Junction Hill athlete Mitch Christiansen eyeing places in Australian teams including Tokyo in 2020.

The 200m specialist in the AWD T37 category has been hitting personal best times in recent competition, including the Australian Athletics Championships which wound up in Sydney earlier this month.

"I've run a 26.63 before the event and 26.87 in the final,” Christiansen said.

He said the time ranked him number eight in the world in the T37 category.

"Hopefully it will get me picked in the team for the Oceania games from June 25-28,” he said.

"At the moment I'm the number one ranked runner in my category in Australia.”

Christiansen, 22, has been been training with veteran athletics coach Terry West at Junction Hill.

West said he has been in awe of the way his his young runner tackled his sport.

"He's actually taught me something I wish I'd learnt a long time ago,” West said.

"Mitch is always positive about everything. His saying is 'don't look at my disability, just concentrate on my ability'.”

Christiansen has been on the verge of competing in the big events around the world for AWD athletes for years.

"A few years ago my ranking was as low sixth in the world, but when the World Championships came around more athletes came back into training and it blew out about 92,” he said.

This time around his times have been improving and he believes he has his best chance to get to a big event, like a World Championships or the Paralympics.

To increase his chances Christiansen has also been training for the 100m and has been close to beating his PBs in that event.

Christiansen said he would treat selection in teams the same way he focused on a race.

"I just look at the finish line,” he said. "I don't look either side or at who I'm racing.

"I tried that once and it didn't work out for me.

"When I'm running I remained focussed on what I have to do to get to the finish line as fast as I can.”