Harry Hughes to compete against Olympic javelin champion Röhler in Jena, Germany after surpassing 80m marker at Loughborough
Harry Hughes set down an 80m marker in the javelin last month, to announce to the athletics community that the 21-year-old was fast becoming a serious contender.
And they took note, with the Stowmarket athlete receiving an invite to compete against Olympic champion Thomas Röhler this weekend.
The former Stowmarket High School and King Edward VI School pupil is due to travel to Jena in Germany today for the invitation-only event, and will represent the first time Hughes has competed against the world’s best.
“I’m absolutely loving it all at the moment,” he said. “It’s really nice to get the chance to take on the highest calibre competitors, I can’t wait to see what I can do.
“It will be really nice to have some people to push me, and then to see how I deal with competing against the best.
“I’m at the point where I’m ready to be competing against the best, I need it to push on and consistently throw 80-plus metres.”
Hughes said he is hopeful of getting the nod from Team GB selectors for next month’s 2019 European U23 Championships, having become the first British javelin thrower in seven years to surpass 80m at the Loughborough International in May.
But he will not know for certain for a few weeks and hopes subsequent successes such as Sunday’s Halle Throws International victory will further strengthen his bid for a team place.
“It’s been a tough couple of years with injury and it’s wonderful to be injury free,” he said. “I was disappointed with the distance I threw in Halle (74.80m) but I suppose the win is the important thing.
“And my throwing positions were good. I think, at the minute, the distances are there so it’s a case of it all coming together.
“My whole season is aiming for those U23 Championships, I think I’m ranked fourth in Europe at the moment, I’m winning competitions, I’m training as though I’ll be going to Sweden in July.
“And we’ll be going for a medal.”