Javelin thrower makes fast gains

Last updated 12:00 21/12/2012

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Ben Langton-Burnell's javelin stocks have continued to rise, having improved a great deal in the past year.

The 20-year-old threw more than 70 metres for the first time at the central region teams competition at Whanganui last month with 70.65m, more than a metre further than his previous best of 69.52m.

"This time last year I was throwing about 59, 60m, that's about 10m since then," he said.

"That's a pretty big gain. Last year in January, February alone I gained about nine metres. So when I threw that 70m a couple of weeks ago, I was definitely not expecting it to happen."

Langton-Burnell has been training with Olympian and New Zealand champion Stuart Farquhar, which he found beneficial.

But he knows he can do better than 70m and showed it with a throw of 72.62m, which was disallowed because of a foul.

"It's not as big as it sounds," Langton-Burnell said.

"A metre and a bit does sound like quite a bit. Stu said at that stage he could make 4m gains in one throw, once you hit that 80m."

He picked up an adductor strain in training because his technique was not right but the injury is not too serious.

Once he fixes a few small problems, it won't bother him. "That shouldn't be too hard. It's more foot work than anything, just my feet are quite lazy and they should be bouncy."

He see himself getting to 80m, it is just a matter of preparing the body to handle the extra strain.

"It's a long-term goal of mine. The reason why all these things are happening to the body at the moment is when you thrown 70m, you're putting a huge amount of force through your body. I just need to get a lot stronger."

Competition starts again next month, then he will be competing against Farquhar at the Porritt Classic in Hamilton in February before nationals in Auckland in March.

He is then going to Australia in April for two big events - the Australian world challenge in Melbourne and the Australia nationals in Sydney.

By the time he gets to Australia, he believes he will be able to throw 75 or 76m, which should help him improve on his eighth position from last year, even though the Australian Olympians will be competing this year.

His goal is the world university games in Russia next year, the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games, as well as future Olympic Games.

He said he is 12 years away from a javelin thrower's peak.

The Massey University student is splitting his summer between training and working on his parents' farm near Levin.

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- The Manawatu Standard

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