Norwich shot-putter Danny Nobbs’ London Paralympics dream shattered
12:14 11 July 2012
Norwich Paralympic shot-putter Danny Nobbs has had his London dreams shattered after failing to make selection for next month’s London Games.
The 32-year-old Aviva employee turned surprise qualification for the Beijing Paralympics four years ago into an excellent fifth finish – with all his efforts since focused on a tilt at glory in the capital this summer.
A 12-month sabbatical – with the financial backing of Aviva – helped Nobbs gear himself up for August’s Games, funding a pre-season training camp in Portugal and various other helping hands along the way.
And Nobbs’ form had been decent too – winning silver at the German National Championships in Berlin last month, as well as fifth at the Paralympics test event held in Stratford’s Olympic Stadium in May.
However, changes to the rules regarding his throwing frame meant UK Athletics dropped the Norwich thrower from their Elite funding programme last year – a decision that appears to have carried some sway into their selection for the London Paralympics.
Aled Davies and Kyron Duke both have Elite programme funding, and they will be joined by Dan Smith and Rob Womack as Paralympics GB shot-putters – leaving Nobbs to contemplate what might have been after Tuesday’s announcement.
Speaking earlier in the season, Nobbs said: “The world class performance plan I was on for four years and benefited from a lot of the support services that you get throughout that time.
“When the International Paralympic Committee changed some of the rules around the throwing frame I use at the end of last year, it meant some of my distances dropped back – and at the same time UK Athletics saw my medal chances diminish a little bit, and they dropped me from the plan, which was unfortunate.
“After that, your focus doesn’t change and if anything, it just gives you more focus, more drive and more determination to go out there and do it. But I was lucky enough to be on the plan for four years and benefit from all the positives you get from it.”
Nobbs added: “Beijing, looking back at it now, was an amazing experience and going back to my original goals, London was always where I was hoping to make my mark.
“In myself, I didn’t actually think I would hit the qualifying standards to make the team for Beijing, so for me to even be on the plane and part of Team GB was an amazing honour and to hit 1cm off my personal best in the Bird’s Nest Stadium I was pretty happy with that at the time.
“With London I don’t think you will find any GB athlete that will be going without a realistic medal chance. The GB squad is that strong, everybody will be competing for medals.”