Sprowston’s Michael Painter strikes gold again
Another week – another gold medal for talented Norwich hammer star Michael Painter.
The Sprowston Community High School pupil has had to lock himself away for his studies recently, yet has continued to blow his competition away – something he hopes will continue at the European Youth Olympic Festival, which started on Saturday.
The 16-year-old has headed to Trabzon, Turkey, looking to taste some fresh air having been stuck inside to take his GCSE exams.
But despite spending less time training and more time studying of late, you would never have guessed it. Painter claimed hammer gold at the English Schools in Gateshead earlier this month and followed it up last weekend with gold in the under-17 men's hammer at the Aviva Schools International in Cardiff.
Now with the chance to celebrate the end of his exams in style as he mixes it with more than 3,000 athletes from 48 European countries, Painter is chomping at the bit to pick up the hammer again: 'My season has been a bit up and down really as I have been quite busy with school and things haven't quite gone my way,' said the City of Norwich AC starlet.
'I had my exams so was busy revising and taking them, which took a lot of my time. But they are done now so I have been able to train more.
'Despite all the time I had to spend studying I still had some good results, winning the English Schools was a great competition.
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'I'm showing signs of throwing big again now and hopefully this big throw can come in Turkey and it will be good enough to get me into the final.'
Despite collecting the English Schools crown, Painter's winning distance of 66.08m was more than three metres off his personal best of 69.69 he set back in April. His latest win came with 66.41. But Painter hopes Team GB will help him find that little bit extra.
'This is going to be my first time representing Great Britain and I am really looking forward to it,' he added. 'And I think that putting on the Team GB clothes will spur me on to throw even further than I have done because it is such a special thing to do.
'I have the Commonwealth Youth Games coming up in the Isle of Man this September and this is great practice for that; hopefully I can put up some big throws.'
• Lloyds TSB is a partner of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and official supporter of Team GB on their journey to the European Youth Olympic Festival. Visit: www.lloydstsb.com/london2012