10 Aug 2023

National 200m sprint champion Georgia Hulls pays homage to parents.

5:28 am on 10 August 2023
Georgia Hulls of New Zealand during the heats of the women's 200m at the World Athletics Championships in Oregon, USA on Monday 18 July 2022. Mandatory photo credit: Tsutomu Kishimoto / www.photosport.nz

Georgia Hulls at the 2022 World Champs Photo: Tsutomu Kishimoto / www.photosport.nz

Hawke's Bay born sprinter Georgia Hulls pays homage to her parents who sold their house so she could represent New Zealand at the 2015 World Youth Championships.

"We sold our house to fund my trip and so my parents could watch as well".

It was only the beginning of her journey to representing New Zealand after previously making four appearances on the world stage.

Fast forward to today and the 24-year-old has been selected for her second elite World Championships and will compete in the 200m in Hungary later this month.

"Hopefully it gives my parents a bit of validation from making that initial financial sacrifice that we have been doing the right thing".

"I'm excited to see where I can go and hopefully my parents can take something from that as well".

The young kiwi had opened her European season In Switzerland last week with a time of 23.53 seconds.

Hulls was joined by fellow training mates 100m sprint star Zoe Hobbs, 400m hurdler Portia Bing, and 400m runner Rosie Elliot, who have all qualified for world championships as well.

"It's invaluable to have that kind of familiarity and routine around training overseas".

"It's nice to have some sort of normality".

Hulls highlights how coach James Mortimer has cultivated a, "culture with high performing athletes... it's a professional but welcoming environment".

Last year, the Kiwi sprinter placed sixth in her heat at the World Championships in Oregon but unfortunately didn't progress.

She told RNZ it was because she had a long season last year and "by the time I got to Worlds Champs I was pretty cooked."

However, taking those faults, Hulls and Mortimer had purposely split her competition season in half this year.

"I feel a lot more confident about the freshness and longevity", which she thinks will help her qualify for semi-finals and hopefully the final.

Just like every kiwi athlete, the Paris Olympics are also on the sprinter's radar.

She has to either run an auto-qualifier of 22.57 or place top 16 for a nomination.

Hulls posted a 200m race of a lifetime with a time of 22.84 seconds in February, only 0.3 outside national record holder and teammate Rosie Elliot (22.81 secs).

Georgia Hulls and Rosie Elliot 200m race.

Georgia Hulls and teammate Rosie Elliot. Photo: Alisha Lovrich

"I have been dropping point zero two on average each year which will put me around that time".

"What I have raced and managed to do last year and with some background stuff happening, I'm pretty confident I can get there".

In the future, Hulls is looking into transitioning into 400m hurdles like her training peer, Portia Bing.

"There is more room for me to improve in the 400m hurdles".

"Where Portia has taken it, it seems pretty cool".

A "cool" event where Bing became the first New Zealand female 400m hurdler to qualify for the semi-finals at the Oregon World Track and Field Championships last year.

Hulls will open up her world's campaign on August 23rd in Budapest.