Javelin thrower Harry Hughes, ranked No. 1 in the country in his age group, is preparing to grace the international stage this summer.

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The in-form Hughes, a member of West Suffolk AC, has already launched the javelin out to beyond 68 metres in his first year of competition as an under-17 athlete.

Now the Stowmarket High School student is gearing up to compete in the World Schools Championships in the Czech Republic later this month, as well as targeting a spot at the World Youth Championships in the Ukraine.

In fact, the one factor holding back Hughes, at the moment, seems to be a lack of competition!

“I’m trying to see whether I can throw 69 metres, which is the qualifying mark for World Youth Championships, explained Hughes, who won the English Schools title last year.

“I’m not far off that mark, although we (UK) seem to set our qualifying standards higher than other countries. Hopefully, there might be some leniency in terms of selection.

“As my coach (Mike McNeill) says, the problem with club competitions is that you only get three throws.

“It’s better to compete at the bigger events where you get six throws, because then you can relax more and have a better chance of throwing longer.

“Whether I get there (to Ukraine) or not, I should be competing abroad for the first time in my career this summer, at the World Schools Championships,” added Hughes.

Hughes threw over 60 metres, for the first time, only last month, and has since exceeded this mark on four occasions.

At the recent Suffolk County Track & Field Championships, held at Northgate in Ipswich, Hughes set a new Championship best of 68.59m, which was a big personal best.

It broke the previous record, set by Ipswich Harriers’ Matti Mortimer (67.41 in 2009).

And only last weekend, the impressive Hughes threw 67.83m in winning the England Athletics Under-18s Open Championships at Bedford. Looking longer term, 15-year-old Hughes revealed: “My main aim is to compete at the World Youth Olympics in Japan (next summer).”

The future is certainly bright for the country’s top javelin thrower – especially as Hughes will still be eligible for the under-17 age group next year!

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