Bury St Edmunds schoolboy Harry Hughes underlined his Olympic potential with a monstrous throw to capture the junior men’s title in The Halle Werfertage in Germany at the weekend, writes Russell Claydon.
His final throw of 75.46 metres is only second to the great Steve Backley in the all-time standings for an 18-year-old and won by more than five metres got his season off to a flying start.
It ended a frustrating 18 months for the West Suffolk Athletics Club member, who has seen his progress hampered by a back injury caused by rapid growth.
But the King Edward VI Sixth Form student, who is based in Stowmarket, is now ranked second in the senior British rankings after he became the first GB javelin thrower to win at the home of Germany’s elite throwers, with the senior competitions watched by a crowd of around 3,000.
His coach, Mike McNeil, has compared Hughes’ potential to Newmarket’s Olympian Goldie Sayers, who the pair met up with in Bury this week.
“He handled the pressure of the large crowd and performed so consistently before launching his final throw,” said McNeil.
“He is truly world class and there is a sense of déjà vu for me as he has the ability and maturity that Goldie had at the same time of her illustrious career.
“Whilst being an elite junior is important the targets of Commnwealth Games, World Championships and the Olympics as a senior, starting in 2018, are the main targets.”
Hughes’ immediate targets will be to now focuse on retaining his national title next month and winning the English Schools title in his last year as a school pupil in July.