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Heartbreaking injury for Stowmarket's Harry Hughes with European U23 Championship medal prospect forced to pull out of competition

By now, Harry Hughes had been expecting to be in preparation for Saturday’s men’s javelin final at the U23 European Championships in Gavle, Sweden having safely negotiated the qualifying round.

But instead, the 21-year-old is sat at home in Stowmarket ready to watch it on television after suffering an eleventh hour injury to miss out on the major junior event.

Hughes has suffered a stress injury to his heel, which will keep him sidelined for the next six to eight weeks; the ‘heartbreaking’ end result of which is that the young javelin thrower will not be able to compete for a European U23 title.

“It’s heartbreaking for me,” the former Stowmarket High School pupil, who surpassed the 80m mark for the first time this year with a throw of 80.32m, said.

Harry Hughes (13630457)
Harry Hughes (13630457)

“It came out of nowhere, what I thought was a niggle has ended up ending my chances of going for a medal. It’s a horrible feeling, I have worked for nearly two years to get where I am and then it’s over, all of a sudden, it’s really really gutting.

“It’s so frustrating as I was throwing unbelievably well, my strength was ramping up and I was expecting to go well over 80 metres at the championship.

“It’s really difficult to accept, it hurts not to be able to make it as I had such belief in what I could do and really thought I had a good chance of a medal, but I also have to be smart about it. There’s no point pushing through the pain, risking making it worse and not being good enough to get a medal anyway.

“My hope is that my season isn’t over and that I can still salvage something good from it. So I’m looking ahead to the British Championships now and trying to qualify for the World Championships (in Doha in September/October).

“I would need to throw a new Personal Best by more than two metres with the distance set at 83 metres but I need to do that to progress as an athlete anyway.

“There’s no point dwelling on it, so I will be watching that final on Saturday and cheering on the whole team too.”

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