Flight mode for Frayne, in the long jump and on the phone

April 10, 2018

Australia's Henry Frayne competes in the men's long jump qualifying at Carrara Stadium during the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast, Australia, Tuesday, April 10, 2018. (AP Photo/Dita Alangkara)

GOLD COAST, Australia (AP) — Henry Frayne, and his phone, are on flight mode.

The Australian long jumper set the Commonwealth Games men’s long jump record on Tuesday with a leap of 8.34 meters in the preliminaries.

Frayne, who has struggled with a series of groin, hamstring and calf muscle injuries, spent 20 minutes celebrating the record with the crowd at the Carrara stadium before making his way back to team camp — and promptly putting his phone on flight mode.

“The messages were coming thick and fast last night ... I’m obsessive-compulsive so I kept checking them but I’ll switch off over the next 24 hours,” he said.

Just how Frayne celebrates his 28th birthday later this week will be determined by how he jumps in Wednesday night’s final.

“Being a No. 1 qualifier ... I need to back it up,” he said, “but I took off on the back of the board so there’s improvement there.”

For Frayne, it had been six frustrating years of injuries since he’d jumped his previous best of 8.27. His mark on Tuesday improved on the 8:30 record his fellow Australian Fabrice Lapierre set the 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi.

“I’ll pretty much go and chill now ... that was emotional rather than physical,” said Frayne, a former world indoors silver medalist. “As a younger athlete I didn’t hold the Commonwealth Games in that high regard —I wanted to be Olympic and world champion — but then your career doesn’t pan out how you thought.

“So this is pretty special.”

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