Denny zeroing in on Games discus gold

John Salvado / AAP News


After narrowly missing medals at both the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth and then the Tokyo Olympics, the big man of Australian athletics has his sights set on a Birmingham medal.

Big Matty Denny is comfortable wearing the mantle of favourite as he chases a first senior international title in the men’s discus at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games.

The Queenslander (64.63m ) finished second in the qualifying round on Tuesday with plenty left in the tank ahead of the final.

Jamaican Traves Smikle had the biggest qualifying throw of 64.90m, while Englishman Lawrence Okoye – who spent several years trying to make it in the NFL – was third with 63.79m.

Denny is edging closer to a spot atop the podium on the international stage.

The 26-year-old was fourth at last year’s Tokyo Olympics and sixth at the recent world championships in Eugene, where his qualifying effort of 66.98m was within 9cm of his personal best.

“What I take out of that is that I’m in incredible form but I just didn’t put the flights together on the day,” said Denny, who threw 66.47m in the world championships final.

“The fact that I threw 66 and a half met res but, as we say in the business, I bricked the flight.

“I was in 68 or 69-metre form but I just didn’t get the flight.

“Now that I can perform like that and it can be characterised as bad for me is very reassuring.”

By virtue of his consistency on the global stage, Denny shapes as the man to beat in the final at Alexander Stadium on Thursday evening (early Friday AEST).

“It is a nice feeling to come in as the leader but at the same time Laurence is in good form and there are another few boys throwing big,” he said.

“Coming into the final I think it should be a really good comp and if the conditions show up we should have some really solid distances.

“Hopefully I’ll get it together and come out on top.”

Benn Harradine’s Australian record of 68.20m has stood for nine years, but Denny is more interested in medals than distance in Birmingham.

“I’m not putting all my eggs in the distance basket,” he said.

“The focus is to win and to perform at whatever calibre is neede d to win.

“And if that happens and that distance comes, then sweet.”



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