Javelin sensation Harry Hughes has set his sights on world glory when he competes abroad for the first time in the Czech Republic this weekend.
The talented 15-year-old Stowmarket High School pupil will be aiming to live up to his English number one ranking when representing the nation at the World Schools Championships as he looks to throw over the 70-metre-mark to ensure him a place at the prestigious World Youth Championships in the Ukraine, later this year.
“I’m feeling pretty confident if I’m honest,” he said.
“I’m currently 40 centimetres off the standard for the World Youth Championships, but hopefully I can throw over 70 metres this weekend because it would be amazing to compete there.
“It will be my first time throwing abroad, but I’m really excited because competing at that stage will help take my throwing up to the next level by representing England at an international games.
“I’m really proud to be representing the nation, I never thought I would get here, especially with this being my first year throwing at this level.”
It has been a meteoric rise for Hughes in his first year at under-17 level with the West Suffolk Athletics Club member setting a new personal best of 68.59m at the Suffolk County Track and Field Championships, setting a new championship record and cementing his place as the country’s best at his age.
That status may be considered added pressure for most, Hughes is relishing the opportunity to fulfil his potential.
“Being number one brings a lot of pressure, but I know I’m ahead in terms of distance than others and so that eases the nerves and gives me confidence,” he added.
“Personally, I prefer being number one in a competition, it gives me a boost and a reason to prove why I’m number one.”
Looking ahead to a bright future, Hughes conceded he has not realistically looked at competing at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio De Janiero, Brazil, but admitted he dreams of one day emulating former Olympic idols, including Newmarket’s Goldie Sayers.
“Next year I hope to go to the World Youth Olympics in China and hopefully by then I’ll be representing Great Britain,” he said.
“I have thought about the Olympics, but realistically I haven’t looked that far ahead because I have a lot to achieve before that.
“I always look up to Steve Backley, Mark Roberson and Goldie Sayers, hopefully I can emulate them and be a successful British athlete.”