LEAN but far from mean, Ben Schmidtchen may be small but he can jump heights most can't, even after asthma struck.
The 11-year-old Narangba State School student has won the title of National High Jump Champion in his age group. Earlier this month, Ben and his family travelled to Darwin so he could compete in the event after he blitzed the state titles in August.
Despite feeling a little under the weather due to a brewing asthma attack, he still managed give his all and win the title on September 16.
"It was frustrating as I was coughing a lot, but I wanted to win," Ben said.
Ben put his worries behind him and jumped a staggering 1. 57m to cement the win and a new personal best.
While practice made perfect, Ben said the secret to his win seemed to be his warm-up.
"The other boys didn't stretch that much, I drank a lot of water and stretched a heap," he said.
"I don't think they wanted it as much as I did."
However, his mum Sheryl said Ben remained modest despite his win.
"He sets goals and doesn't give up until he achieves them," she said
"But he couldnt wait to get off the podium."
While Ben got what he came for, he was unable to shake his asthma any longer and wound up in hospital that evening.
Lucky for Ben, his school was supportive of his jumping ambition and provided him with the equipment to train at home.
While he aims to beat his personal best and continue to win at high jump, he said he had his sights set on becoming a long jump champion also.
"I want to come first in everything to do with long jump and high jump," he said.