KYRON Duke insists he is primed and ready to make his Paralympic debut a medal-winning one at London 2012.
The 19-year-old from Cwmbran, pictured left, is a newcomer to the global scene and was still competing in the junior ranks last year – claiming World Championship javelin gold in Dubai in April.
However, despite his tender years a senior World Championship javelin bronze medal, also secured in 2011, proved Duke can cut it against the world’s best.
A new javelin personal best in June put him third on this year’s global rankings ahead of a home Paralympics and has left Duke dreaming of home-soil glory.
"I recently got a good PB and I’m hitting form at the right time," said Duke – whose new best came with a 37.39m throw on his way to winning the Welsh Championships on June 2. "I’m always improving
and hopefully peaking for the Paralympics.
"This will be my first Paralympics, and I’m just 19. This will be by far the biggest even I’ve competed in so far and I’m so excited to be performing on the biggest stage. On a scale of 1-100, I’m
about a thousand.
"I have some really big rivals in the Paralympics, it’s going to be tough.
"There’s a German, two Iraqis, a Slovenian and a few Chinese guys. I’ve come up against most of them quite a lot so I’ll be used to them, but the Chinese competitors change quite a lot. I know
their games quite well, and never really seen the Chinese guys competing."
Duke will do battle with his opponents – both unknown and familiar – in both the javelin and the shot put in the capital.
And while a medal tilt in the shot put seems a little more unlikely with Duke currently eighth in the world rankings he insists he’ll arrive at London 2012 with his confidence sky high.
"Training has gone really well, I’ve been improving, keeping flexible, staying strong and my technique is good," he added.
"I’m the only Brit in the category so there’s a little bit more pressure, but it’s nothing I can’t handle.
"It was amazing to find out that I’d been selected. I didn’t even answer the phone call, I saw my coach’s name and just went crazy.
"I just can’t wait to get out there and throw now, I just want to get started."
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