29th May 2014
Discus Dan Going Full Circle Ahead Of The Sainsbury's British Championships
Four-time Paralympic medallist Dan Greaves is ready to test himself against the very best in Britain, as he lines up at the Sainsbury’s British Championships at the Birmingham Alexander Stadium on 27-29 June.
Greaves, who won F44 discus silver at London 2012 will go up as a guest against the likes of reigning British Champion Brett Morse and believes the experience will stand him in good stead with the Commonwealth Games and IPC European Championships approaching this summer.
The Charnwood AC athlete said: “It’s something I’ve done for a couple of years now and I just see it as a great challenge. I’ve come from an able-bodied background because I didn’t go down the disability route due to not knowing there’s a class for me. It’s a really exciting time with the fact that there are some para-events at the Commonwealth Games and hopefully events like the Sainsbury’s British Championships will help push me over the 60m barrier. To get that experience of competing in front of a big crowd in Birmingham is going to be an exciting one for me personally.
The 31 year old incidentally finished second behind Morse at the Loughborough International earlier this month and with the absence of his main rival Jeremy Campbell from the major championships, Greaves is looking to make up ground after missing out on the last two major titles to the American.
“I competed at the Loughborough International finishing second behind Brett (Morse) and competing against these guys adds that little bit more pressure, which I thrive on. I know to be best in the world and beat my main rival Jeremy Campbell, the only way to do that is compete against people that have thrown further.
“Going down the able-bodied root and guesting is much more of a challenge for me and will hopefully push me on to distances that will put me back on top of the world. The Sainsbury’s British Championships will give me the opportunity to simulate what I need to do to beat the likes of Jeremy. It keeps me motivated as well – we don’t see each other at major competitions every week, so it’s good to keep that focus ahead of the major goal, which is the World Championships in 2015.”
Greaves will not only being targeting the scalp of Campbell in Doha next year, but Rio in 2016. However, he is looking to make inroads on his personal best in 2014 with another European title in his sights.
“It’s not a big year compared to Worlds and Paralympic Games, but the Commonwealth Games is going to be a huge honour to represent England and to gauge ahead of the European Championships in Swansea to where I am. Hopefully this year, I’ll get a new PB and a few new titles under my belt looking ahead to the next two years, which will give me a lot of confidence.
“I’ve got a title to defend in Swansea. As I see it the last title I won in the Europeans was 2006, but I really want to have that title for the fourth time and push Paralympic sport in Europe. It will be great to see so many of the guys coming through the ranks and hopefully I can inspire a few people. A new European record would be very nice as well.”
Despite being one of the older members within the GB & NI ranks, Greaves cites his potential to throw further as the fundamental factor in keeping his appetite for the sport looking ahead to his fifth Paralympic Games in 2016.
“I think the main reason for me keeping going is knowing how far I can throw. It bugs you when you walk away from a competition having thrown 61m in warm up and 58m in competition. To know that there is a bigger throw in there, makes you go back to the drawing board. You know there’s something special could happen and it’s not knowing that drives you on.
“Realistically 62m-63m will be what it will take to win gold in 2016. When I won gold in 2004, I’m now throwing four to five metres more, which shows how much the sport has progressed in the last 10 years. I won by three metres in Athens and now you have to throw 58m-59m to even get a medal.”
You can watch Dan Greaves and Britain’s best athletes go head-to-head at the Sainsbury’s British Championships on 27-29 June at the Birmingham Alexander Stadium. Tickets can be purchased by clicking here.