Athletics Bendigo product Fraser Symons has sprinted his way to the top of the IAAF world rankings for under-20 400m hurdles.
Symons, who will celebrate his 18th birthday on Wednesday, slashed more than one second off his personal best in running a slick 51.94 seconds at the Victorian Championships at the weekend.
The time was an unofficial qualifier for next year's World Junior Championships in Nairobi.
"If I was to replicate that time next year then I would qualify for the World Junior Championships,'' Symons said.
"That time is currently ranked number one in the world in under-20 400m hurdles."
Symons, who is in Year 12 at Melbourne Grammar, previously concentrated on 100m and 110m hurdles before turning his attention to the 400m event.
His best time before the slashing run at the weekend was 52.97 seconds.
"My coach Dan Martin and I have worked very hard over the past eight to 10 weeks on the 400m hurdles and progressively over the past three years,'' Symons said.
"We've noticed in the past six weeks that the 400m hurdles is an event that I might have potential in.
"Training has been going well and in the 400m hurdles it only takes one good race with some extremely talented competitors to bring you through.
"The quality of the competition helped with the time."
The window for Symons to qualify for next year's world titles opens in July this year, but he'll wait until the Australian summer season to set his mark.
"It's a nice incentive to know that I can run that time and my coach and I are confident that I can run significantly quicker,'' Symons said.
"It's great to know that the hard work is paying off and it only gives me more drive for the future."
Symons' long-term goal is the World Junior Championship, while his short-term goal is next month's Australian Championships in Sydney where he will run in the open-age division for the first time.
"The best 400m hurdler in Australia (Ian Dewhurst), who competed in the Commonwealth Games, has run 49.50 seconds,'' Symons said.
"There's a significant drop after that...my goal (at the national titles) is to not only make the final, but potentially perform well and strive for the medals."
Symons left Bendigo three years ago to board at Melbourne Grammar.
"The opportunities that are available to me have been life-changing,'' Symons said.
"It's an asset I can use to progress myself both academically and in my sport."
Have you signed up to the Bendigo Advertiser's daily newsletter and breaking news emails? You can register below and make sure you are up to date with everything that's happening in central Victoria.