Javelin star continues to shine

JAVELIN prodigy Matti Mortimore has proclaimed himself disappointed with his start to the athletics season despite recording a number of championship winning throws.

Stuart Watson

JAVELIN prodigy Matti Mortimore has proclaimed himself disappointed with his start to the athletics season despite recording a number of championship winning throws.

The 15-year-old Newbourne resident has moved into Under-17 competition this year and admits it has taken time to adapt to the heavier 700g javelin that comes with the step up in age category.

The London 2012 prospect has been throwing in the early 60 metres in competition so far this season, a distance that has been good enough to claim gold at the English Schools (61.45m) and break an 11-year competition record at the East Championships (63.30m).


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The Ipswich Harriers athlete was streets ahead of his rivals as an U15 last year, but although he is impressively still ranked No.1 in the country as a first year in the U17 age group, his competitors have narrowed the gap down to just a couple of metres.

On a recent trip to the Javelin Carnival in Finland, the birth place of his mother Johanna, Mortimore was voted the best boy of the competition from a field of nearly 300. His effort of 66m once again made headlines in the Finnish press but, unfortunately for him, it came with the 600g javelin rather than the 700g that he now has to throw in the UK.

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He said: “To be honest I haven't been throwing that well. The 700g javelins are a lot harder to throw than the 600s. You have to be technically proficient and although I've improved a lot in a number of areas, some of new techniques have taken a while to pick up.”

Last week Mortimore spent a week in Cardiff working with ex-Olympic thrower Nigel Bevan. The teenager said: “The training just seems to have clicked recently and I've realised how easy it can be.

“My season has followed exactly the same path as last year really where I started with just a few small personal bests and went on to win the English Schools with quite a bad throw.

“Last year things really took off for me in August so hopefully that will be the case again this year. I just want to go out there and lay down a good marker for myself.”

Bevan said: “Technically Matti knows that he hasn't be throwing the best recently. He's doing something called wrapping which is very hard to get out of.

“He should really be throwing around 68 to 69 metres at present but it's just a case of ironing out a few problems and I'm sure he'll be back on track.

“He's in better physical shape now than he's ever been as he's naturally getting bigger all the time. I don't want to put too much pressure on him, but I think he could add seven or eight metres by the end of this summer and possibly another seven or eight by the end of next year.

“There's no doubting that Matti is a big talent and that some of his junior records are going to stand for a long time to come, but we've just got to make sure that he doesn't stand still and stagnate.

“History has shown that once youngsters get to the 70m level that suddenly those that were previously 20m behind them suddenly catch-up. I don't think Matti will be in that bracket because he hasn't simply been a big lad throwing a long way, but all the same we've got to make sure he doesn't slip off the radar.”

Matti Mortimore's 2008 results

July

English Schools Intermediate Championships 61.45m

Eastern Championships 63.40m

Finnish Javelin Carnival 66m (600g)

June

Anglian Schools Championships 55.44m

Eastern Young Athletics League 64.27m

BIG 2008 62.99m

May

Southern U17 Championships 63.60m

Suffolk Schools Championships 55.44m

East Anglian Leagues 58.21m

Suffolk County Championships 56.96m

April

Eastern Young Athletics League 55.99m

East Anglian League 60.70m

Jav Fest 6 57.77m

March

East Region Javelin Open 64.21m

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