19th May 2020
ON THIS DAY...LAWRENCE OKOYE SETS UK RECORD IN THE MEN'S DISCUS
On this day in 2012, Lawrence Okoye (coach: John Hillier) set the British discus record with a throw of 68.24 metres at the Halle Throws International in Germany.
Okoye already sat at the top of the UK all-time rankings after throwing 67.63 metres in 2011 at the UKA Challenge event in Hendon. After also winning gold at the European Under 23 Championships in the same year, his 68 metre plus throw in Germany was a big step up in his athletics career.
In Halle, his 68.24m throw put him third in the world lists for 2012 at the time, which made him a real contender on the world stage. The 20-year-old finished third overall in the competition behind Germany’s two-time world champion Robert Harting (70.31m) who would famously win the Olympic title that summer, and Poland’s Piotr Malachowski (68.94m), who was already an Olympic silver medallist from the Games in Beijing.
After the competition in Germany, the Croydon athlete said:
“It was special for me to produce a throw of that calibre. I’ve got to keep pushing on, keep throwing far. I backed that up today with a good 65m. I’ve got a week of training next week, no competitions so I will put some more hard work in and hopefully come back strong again in a couple of weeks.”
He would go on to reach the Olympic final at the Games in London, placing 12th overall. He was the youngest finalist by four years and qualified for the final with a last round throw of 65.28m much to the delight of the home crowd.