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Ipswich long jumper Anton Dixon targets Commonwealth and Olympic Games with Canada

PUBLISHED: 13:29 03 July 2017 | UPDATED: 13:29 03 July 2017

Anton Dixon in training in Ipswich. Picture : SEANA HUGHES

Anton Dixon in training in Ipswich. Picture : SEANA HUGHES

He spent much of his childhood in Ipswich, but Canada-born Anton Dixon is now ready to take the track & field world by storm.

Ipswich-based Anton Dixon is attempting to qualify for the Commonwealth Games with Canada. Ipswich-based Anton Dixon is attempting to qualify for the Commonwealth Games with Canada.

The 27-year-old long jumper has returned to live in the town as he plots a route to next year’s Commonwealth Games, in Australia, and the 2020 Olympics, in Tokyo, with Canada.

Dixon, who originally moved to Whitton when he was eight, with his Ipswich-born parents and his siblings, is currently fifth in the Canadian rankings and on track to make the qualifying distance for Australia 2018.

The 6ft 3ins athlete, whose sister, Kerry (28), also hopes to break through the track & field world – in her case with Great Britain in the 400 metres – dreamed of making it as a basketball player in his mid-teens, only for that ambition to turn sour at the start of 2014.

Three years on and Dixon, who works with British-based coach John Herbert – the athletics guru was told about the long jumper’s talent by Kerry – is being tipped for big things.

“John told me that to reach my full potential, I would have to come to England,” explained Dixon.

“I flew back in 2015 and began training with him and having left Canada ranked about 35th in the whole country, after last year I finished fifth in Canada.

“I made the final of the Canadian Championships and missed out on qualifying for the Rio Olympics but that was my first year of full-time training.

“I have managed to extend my personal best – it is 7.43m, although that was from last year – and I have already gone 7.70m in training and I am looking forward to this year.”

The Commonwealth Games qualifying distance has not been announced yet by officials, but it is likely to be between 7.85m and eight metres.

“I head out to Ottawa for the Canadian Championships, which is qualifying for the World Championships in London later this month,” Dixon, who has a journalism degree, added.

“October is qualifying for the Commonwealth Games and that is very feasible right now and if I were to do that in my second year in the sport that would be a great achievement.

“Then there’s the Pan-Am Games in Peru, the next World Championships and the Olympics in Tokyo, that is the end goal and we will see where I go with my career after that.”

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