STAR STUDENT: James Nash State High School athletic telent David Olsson
STAR STUDENT: James Nash State High School athletic telent David Olsson Troy Jegers

Young Gympie running champ sets sights on Olympics

DETERMINED young athlete David Olsson has big goals in sight, but the 12-year-old is proving he is on track to reaching them.

The James Nash State High School student is well on his way to a promising track and field career after recently winning the Gympie cross country in his age group for a second year in a row.

Now the Year 8 student has his sights set on a place in the Wide Bay cross country team for a third time, after competing at the state finals as a 10 year old in 2017 and an 11-year-old last year, where he placed 18th out of 60 competitors.

This year he is determined to place in the top 15 in the competitive long distance event.

The cross country competitions are keeping David on track in the Gympie Little Athletics off season, where the young runner excelled in the 1500m and 800m events during the summer season.

On the field, discuss is a favourite, David said.

Last year he also won the 12 Years Boy Age Champion at the JNSHS athletics carnival where he broke the school's 1500m record, was named the top male Gympie District 10-12 years Sportsperson of the Year and represented Gympie in soccer.

David trains up to five days a week, which he fits in around school first thing in the morning or after and his training for the Gympie United soccer team.

The young high schooler credits his dad for his love for running.

"I run with my dad - he's a keen runner. He's the one that got me started into running - he does it for fun and just wants to stay fit.

"(I've) been beating him since the age of nine.”

British long distance Olympic runner Mo Farah and Australian wheelchair paralympic gold medallist Kurt Fearnley are the inspiration behind his big dreams, David said.

"I have a dream of competing in the Olympics - doing a marathon, even track and field, or a five or 10 kilometre race.”

David competes in Maryborough at the Wide Bay Cross Country trials on June 4.