11th April 2020
LONDON 2017 THROWBACK: DAVIES' WORLD RECORD TAKES CENTRE STAGE
On Saturday 22 July 2017, moments after Georgie Hermitage grabbed gold in the T37 100m, the whole stadium’s attention turned to the shot put circle and Aled Davies.
The Welshman already had a decorated career to date but success at a home world championship was his next target. And he would seize the moment, throwing a world record and confirming his third F42 shot put title.
It was a special evening inside the London Stadium as thousands of fans witnessed several world-class performances including a masterclass in shot put from Davies.
Five years on from claiming discus gold and shot put bronze at the 2012 Paralympic Games, the Welsh athlete returned to the scene of his breakthrough success.
Davies was the man to beat in the field. He was the world lead in the event and a two-time world champion following successes in Lyon and Doha in 2013 and 2015 respectively. The world title hattrick was on, and the Paralympic champion from 2016 was focused on achieving that memorable feat.
As Hermitage embarked on her lap of honour after a championship record of 13.36 in the 100m, Davies was stepping up for the second attempt of his series. After a modest 16.02 metres had kick off proceedings, he knew a bigger effort was needed to take world title number three.
With the crowd whipped up into a frenzy following Britain’s success moments before, Davies stepped into the circle with the lights beating down on him and expectant eyes fixed on his every movement. This was his moment at the centre of the stage.
The speed, aggression and technique were all spot on and as he released the shot, Davies knew this was going to be a big moment in his athletics career. As he screamed with joy, the crowd responded with a huge roar, and even before it was measured, there was a sense that Davies had won the competition in that very moment.
A pause in proceedings followed as the officials carried out their checks, and after several seconds which felt like hours, 17.52 metres flashed up on the scoreboards and a world record mark had been set.
With the gold medal tied up, his next four throws resulted in fouls, but that did not matter as Davies knew he had delivered his best in round two, and nothing more than that would do.
The world record still stands today three years on. It was a huge moment in Paralympic sport and it further consolidated Aled Davies’ status as one of the greatest British athletes of all-time.