CWMBRAN'S Kyron Duke admitted the support of a partisan Welsh crowd topped off his IPC Athletics European Championship experience as he picked up javelin silver on day two in Swansea, writes Stuart Clarke.
The 21-year-old recorded his best throw of 36.70m with his second attempt before finishing with four foul throws – although it was still good enough for second place behind Germany’s Mathias Mester’s 38.69m.
Duke is no stranger to the podium at major events, having picked up javelin silver and shot put bronze at last year’s World Championships in Lyon, and the medal rush continued in Swansea.
“It was good to compete in front of a home crowd, it wasn’t quite like the London 2012 Paralympics, but London wasn’t full of Welsh people. Having them cheer for me almost tops it off,” said Duke, eighth in the javelin at London 2012.
“I’m happy with the silver medal, but the distance isn’t what I hoped for. There was something that wasn’t clicking right, but I’ve got the shot put next and then I can concentrate on working hard in winter training.”
Indeed Duke’s return in front of a bumper crowd in Swansea will come on Saturday in the shot, an event in which he won a bronze at the last Europeans in 2012 as well.
It isn’t just vocal support Duke is receiving in Swansea either with Sainsbury’s a proud sponsor of the British Paralympic Association and its athletes all the way to Rio 2016.
And with two very different events on his schedule at the Europeans, Duke insists the different training methods are no problem for him in his quest for more glory.
“I hope I can go far in next year’s World Championships as well in both events,” he added. “My javelin has always been my strongest, but my shot is creeping up to become just as strong to be honest.
“It's not too bad juggling the training between the events. One day I’ll do javelin, the next I’ll do shot and that seems to be working well at the moment.”
Sainsbury’s is proud to support British Athletics through the Summer Series events and is committed to helping young people lead healthier, more active lifestyles. For more information visit www.sainsburys.co.uk/legacy