Harry Hughes has his sights firmly set on breaking the British under-17 javelin record on his Sainsbury’s School Games debut this month.
The 15-year-old increased his personal best to second on the all-time British under-17 list with 72.77m last month as his fine season, which has also seen him win English Schools gold, continued.
Hughes, a member of West Suffolk Athletics Club, heads to Sheffield for his School Games debut eyeing David Parker’s British under-17 record of 73.56m, set more than 17 years ago in the summer of 1996.
Despite the pressure that comes with targeting such a milestone as well as being the English Schools champion, Hughes is determined to put on a show in the Steel City.
“The School Games should be really good as it’s my first time competing at them so I hope to put in a really good performance,” said Hughes.
“I think it will be one of the best competitions I compete in this year and I will be aiming to beat the British record, which is 73.56m.
“I won the English Schools and I expect to be competing against the same people so I am expected to do well and hopefully I’ll be able to get another win and keep throwing consistently.
“I am currently throwing 72.77m and I am amazed that I am even thinking about breaking 73.56m as I wasn’t expected to be throwing this far this year.”
Hughes threw 68.75m to win the English Schools title back in July with his distances filling him with confidence that he will compete at next summer’s Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing.
With that in mind, Hughes wants to do all he can to follow in the footsteps of Steve Backley, who won Olympic javelin silver twice and bronze once for Britain during his career.
“Watching the javelin at last year’s Olympic Games did inspire me, but since Steve Backley retired Britain’s performances in the event have drastically gone downhill,” he added.
“That is something that I am determined to turn around.
“I have got a lot better with dealing with my nerves before competitions now as I used to get really nervous, but I am now a lot confident.
“I just want to get better and better and I am already over the standard for the Youth Olympics so hopefully I can be at the top of my game for this.”
The Sainsbury’s 2013 School Games, which is supported by National Lottery funding from Sport England and delivered by the Youth Sport Trust, takes place in Sheffield from 12-15 September 2013.
Visit www.2013school games.com for more information.