Paris Olympics: Kiwi high jumper Hamish Kerr still grappling with self-doubt despite world champs triumph

One of New Zealand's big hopes for gold at this year's Olympics has described the overwhelming emotion of becoming a world high jump champion.

Last month, Hamish Kerr claimed the global indoor title in Glasgow but reveals he still has doubts about his ability to compete with the best in the world. 

With the Paris Games just four months away, Kerr believes he remains well off his peak.  

A few weeks on, he admits he's still coming to terms with his "surreal" triumph in Scotland. 

"It wasn't until the next morning when I woke up, looked at myself in the mirror and it just hit me," Kerr told Newshub.

Hamish Kerr celebrates his gold medal in Glasgow.
Hamish Kerr celebrates his gold medal in Glasgow. Photo credit: Getty Images

"Of course I cried. It was an overwhelming experience. It was something I've dreamed of for years.

"The emotion and the whole situation of winning and jumping as high as I did was a dream come true."

What made it even more special was seeing his close mate, Geordie Beamish, claim the 1500m gold just hours later to cap a memorable day in NZ athletics history. 

"It took a couple of minutes to realise that Geordie needed a [New Zealand] flag because we were just sitting there so shocked at what had happened," he recalled.  

"And then we were like 'oh my gosh, he needs a flag. Get it out there, quick, quick'."

But Kerr has had to park that all now. After all, the Commonwealth Games gold medallist has an Olympics to focus on.

And while he's proven he can soar with the best, Kerr still isn't comfortable.

"I still don't feel like I can go out there and feel like it's an absolute guarantee that I'll jump [2.30m], when I'm in really good shape," he noted. 

A new minimum standard, though, has him in good stead.

"Instead of looking at my first jump of competition as getting into the competition and seeing how I feel and starting to build from there, it's almost like this challenge of making this jump as good as the one that'll win me the title."

If he does, he may have to get used to being called an Olympic champion as well.