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2013 August Throws Blog: Malcolm Fenton

  • Posted: 05.08.2013
  • Author: Malcolm Fenton (GBR)
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Have you ever considered that your thrower is in the wrong event?

With both males and females, we see athletes, that whilst proficient performers in their current event, are probably never going to make the international scene? Especially on the women’s side, I see athletes who don’t have the physical characteristics to be, say a Shot Putter of the highest order, but may better fit the profile of a Hammer Thrower. In the past we have seen Lorraine Shaw, go from being an international Discus Thrower to, late in her career, a world class Hammer Thrower. In the last couple of seasons, we have seen Shaunagh Brown, move from being a 16m Putter, to a 66m Hammer Thrower, an event which most Hammer coaches had been waiting, and wanting her to try, as she physically, seemed idea for the transition. So ask yourself, would your athlete be more successful at another event? Would that moderately talented High Jumper, make a better discus thrower, or Hammer Thrower? Challenge yourself to see if your athlete should try an event change. This also gives you an opportunity, as a coach, to perhaps learn, or enhance a new skill. Or perhaps even to have the humility to ask another coach for assistance. Even if the athlete fails to make a successful transition to a new event, in almost every case, the athlete with improve physically, which will help enhance their current events? Even your club will love you for creating an improved point’s gatherer , possibly the only time when most clubs take any interest in the throws! Whilst it might seem easy for me to say this as a Hammer Thrower and former National Hammer Coach, it may do well to remind some coaches, that my main coaching successes have come in the Shot (Mark Proctor 20.85; Susan King, a World age 12 best in the Shot and multi English Schools Champion, James Bull). None of these putters would have made great Hammer Throwers, but they did all try and it was found not to be the best event for them to switch to.

The past month or so, has seen various global and continental championships for the younger age groups. In these, Sophie McKinna(SP) and Nick Percy y(DT) both produced Silver Medal performances at the European Junior Champs, whist Zane Duquemin, at the U23’s, finished a very close 4th, with a PB in the Shot. Elsewhere, Shadine Duquemin(DT), Kai Jones(SP), Greg Thompson(DT), Adel Nicoll(SP), Nick Miller(HT)and Lou James(HT), reached the final of their respective events. Well done and respect to them and their coaches. So far this season, only one thrower who has achieved a qualifying standard, has not been picked for selection, this unfortunately was Jade Lally, who fell foul of the other requirements in place to attain selection. Apart from this one instance, the throws have been well represented at the Championships.

Next season’s Commonwealth Games, in Glasgow, sees an event where throwers have attainable standards to qualify against. Already Scotland has three Hammer Throwers over 71m, all of whom look well capable of being medallists. Not to be out done, England has 6 Hammer Throwers over 70m, giving the UK 9 70m throwers this year. This is equal first in the world, with the USA and Russia and easily the best year the UK has seen for the event. The women are also on a high, with 9 over 60m. This Discus has slipped back a little after the highs of the past two seasons, whist next year should see the return of Carl Myerscough in the Shot, after a year out through back injury.

It looks like being a great 2014 for the throws.

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