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Thursday, 24 April 2014

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Cumbrian javelin ace backed to star at London 2012 Olympics

Olympic legend Steve Backley is backing Carlisle javelin star Lee Doran to star at the London Games.

Lee Doran photo
Lee Doran

Backley, the only British track and field competitor to win medals at three different Olympic Games, has thrown himself behind Doran’s bid to qualify for London.

Doran’s countdown to the Olympics begins tomorrow when he competes in an event at Loughborough where he hopes to qualify for the European Winter Throws Cup in Montenegro.

The 26-year-old, from Morton, threw a personal best of 78.63m last year to win last summer’s Aviva UK World Trials and Championships in Birmingham, and his improvement over the last three years has seen him emerge as an Olympic contender. He needs to throw either 79.50m twice to hit the ‘B’ standard qualification for London or 82m once to achieve the ‘A’ standard.

Since bringing the curtain down on his glittering career, Backley, a former world record holder and four-times European champion, closely follows the careers of Britain’s javelin throwers and hopes Doran can light up London this autumn.

He said: “Lee is one of the up and coming javelin throwers and, in a unique time in British sporting history, he can be inspired by the prospect of training for a home Olympics.

“Every successful Olympian will have a huge amount of dedication and belief in their own abilities.

“I believe Lee has got what it takes to deliver a great performance in 2012 and wish him all the best in his final preparations.”

Doran recently returned from a winter training break in South Africa with Team GB stars, including sprinter Dwaine Chambers and 400m hurdle stars Dai Greene and Rhys Williams.

He hopes it will be the perfect launch-pad for the biggest year of his career, which has the potential to eclipse competing at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi, where he was fifth.

UK Athletics placed Doran on their World Class Development Programme for the 12 months to bolster his chances of qualifying for the London Games, as it helps to fund his coaching, travel to competitions, physio and medical bills and warm-weather training.

Only genuine Olympics contenders are selected for the programme, so being picked gave the Cumbrian javelin record holder a massive confidence boost ahead of his attempt to secure the qualifying throw for the Olympics.

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