Sun, 30 Aug 2020
TEAM Kennet javelin star Ben East has his sights set on the British under-17 record.
The 16-year-old, from Hungerford, set a personal best of 73.04m in his first competition of the year at the Lee Valley Open earlier this month.
And now he is hunting down the record of 76.17m, set by Havering’s Max Law last year.
Ben’s performance at Lee Valley was the fifth best in the world this year at under-17 level.
And he admitted: “It was almost surprising to throw so well.
“I have had no idea of my progress this year and I went into the competition blind because we have had no events.
“There is normally a progression year-on-year, but it has been irritating this year that there have been no competitions because of the coronavirus.
“The British record is feasible, but you never really know how you are going to do on the day.
“I’m just eager to get back into competition.”
While the lack of competitions has been frustrating, Ben has had time to concentrate on his training regime, under coach Luke Angell.
Ben said: “It has been challenging trying to keep up with training, particularly at the beginning of the outbreak, which limited the options.
“I trained at home at the start with core exercises or some drills, but it was difficult to stay motivated.
“I missed the social side of training at the club as well.”
Ben was full of praise for the help and support given to him by Angell and said: “He has been absolutely fantastic.
“We train together and get on well outside training – the feedback he gives me is great.
“We stepped up training when we could and it was great to get a few throwing sessions in recently because for a few months this year I hadn’t even picked up a javelin.”
Ben turns 17 in November and next year he will move from the 700g javelin to the 800g – which is the Olympic weight.
The Paris Olympics in 2024 will probably come too soon for Ben as he said getting to grips with the heavier javelin “will be a steep learning curve”.
But he will continue to train throughout the winter and it’s something he enjoys doing.
He said: “I love training, whether it is gym work, flexibility or throwing.”
He will have to combine his training with his schoolwork at Park House as well.
Ben has just received excellent GCSE results and will now study for A-levels in mathematics, further mathematics, chemistry and physics in the sixth form.
He said: “Park House and the headteacher Derek Peaple have been very supportive of me throughout my time there and Team Kennet have also been brilliant.”
Now Ben will be looking to finish the abridged season on a high – and capture that record.