Dan Bainbridge prepares for Great Britain debut in Georgia
- Credit: Submitted
Norwich javelin prospect Dan Bainbridge is preparing to make his Great Britain debut in Georgia.
The 17-year-old has flown out to Tbilisi as part of a 33-strong team for the European Athletics Youth Championships.
The City of Norwich Athletic Club member secured his qualification in dramatic fashion at a UK Youth Development League meeting last month.
Bainbridge, who trains with national javelin coach mentor and Loughborough University lead throws coach David Parker, entered the competition with a personal best throw of 69.87 metres already under his belt.
With the 70m European youth qualifying mark his target, on the day if the qualifying deadline, Bainbridge knew he had to make the event count.
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It wasn't actually until his sixth and final throw that the Young Norfolk Sports Academy member managed to produce a lifetime's best and massive throw of 72.41m – leading to his GB selection.
'At Crawley, I realised I had to have the throw of my life and that everything had to be technically perfect,' Bainbridge said. 'As I released the javelin, I knew straight away it was going far.
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'The distance was measured and I was elated, literally jumping up in the air! I was confident I had it in me, but to achieve the qualifying distance by over two metres at such an important time was amazing and I thought it would give me a good chance of selection.'
After a few days of acclimatisation, Bainbridge will start competing in the qualifying round on Thursday and, should he get through, the final is on Saturday.
Bainbridge added: 'I hadn't dwelt on what it would mean to be selected, but now I can really enjoy the moment and the realization that I will be competing for my country in a GB vest is a dream come true.
'I look forward to travelling to Tbilisi with the team and competing against some of the best throwers in the world.'