Hamish Kerr is eyeing gold at Paris 2024. GETTY IMAGES

New Zealand high jumper Hamish Kerr is targeting Olympic gold in Paris to complement his world indoor title. He plans to do this by taking tactical toilet breaks to mentally reset.

The 27-year-old, known as "The Flying Kiwi," won the indoor crown in March in Glasgow with a personal best of 2.36 metres, the highest jump by any athlete this year. Now, his goal is to soar even higher and capture the gold medal at the Olympics starting next month in Paris.

"I'd be lying if I said I didn't want to go there and win," he said.  Kerr employs a rather unusual strategy during competitions, however. While competing for the indoor title in Glasgow, he took bathroom breaks between rounds to help himself stay focused.

"Without giving away too many details, I have the world's smallest bladder," he joked. "Getting a bit of peace and quiet was needed to help me reset. It's something I do in most competitions. I find it really important to have those times where I can step back, breathe and think about what's important."

He always checks the lock of any cubicle door he uses on competition day, a habit formed after he accidentally became trapped before a national schools event early in his career. "Long story short, I got stuck in a toilet for about 40 minutes and ended up climbing through the roof to get out.

"It screwed up my whole routine and I ended up doing terribly. Now I check whether a bathroom door locks properly or not," Kerr concluded.

New Zealand high jump star Hammish Kerr will use his toilet trick at Paris 2024, as he eyes the gold medal. GETTY IMAGES
New Zealand high jump star Hammish Kerr will use his toilet trick at Paris 2024, as he eyes the gold medal. GETTY IMAGES

In March 2022, Kerr competed at the World Indoor Championships in Belgrade, Serbia, where he broke Roger Te Puni's 39-year-old New Zealand indoor record of 2.16 m with a bronze medal-winning jump of 2.31 m, tying with Gianmarco Tamberi.

He also won the Oceania Athletics Championships with a jump of 2.24 m in June of the same year. By August, he claimed gold at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham with a jump of 2.25 m.

During the indoor high jump competition in Banska Bystrica, Slovakia, in February 2023, Kerr surpassed Tim Forsyth's longstanding Oceanian indoor record from 1997 by clearing 2.34 m, marking an outright lifetime best.

Following his aforementioned Glasgow triumph in March, he will be gunning for the gold in the French capital next month.