6:00am Friday 30th May 2014
By Ryan Goad
HAMMER thrower Amir Williamson faces a nervous wait this weekend to see whether his place at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow is confirmed.
The 27-year-old from Linford threw a season’s best of 70.07m in Bedford to put him in pole position to get the third and final hammer spot in England’s athletics team.
The deadline for athletes to get the standard slams shut this weekend with the team announced on Monday.
As it stands, Williamson has fulfilled all the criteria to go but he could still be usurped by rival James Bedford who has the chance to stake his claim when he competes this weekend.
Williamson, who works for the London Fire Brigade, has the weekend off from competing and will be nervously checking his phone for updates.
“I’m the third-ranked hammer thrower as it stands,” said Williamson. “I’m just hoping James doesn’t throw big this weekend so it will be a bit nerve-wracking.”
The Enfield & Haringey athlete is confident that should Bedford fail to throw more than 70m this weekend, his name will be on the squad list released early next week.
The 70m-plus throw at Bedford on Saturday was crucial as it means he now has two B-standard qualifying marks (he set the first of 71.01m last summer) and is 2-0 up on nearest rival Bedford in their head-to-heads this season.
“The policy is clear and I think I’ve met everything that has been set out so far,” said Williamson. “Obviously that could change this weekend, but I’ve got my fingers crossed.”
Should everything work out for Williamson, he will not be travelling to Glasgow just for the experience, he firmly believes he can win a medal.
“I’m in the shape of my life and historically England have always done well in hammer throwing at the Commonwealth Games,” he said.
“An English athlete has won a medal at the last three games so if you make the team, you are in with a shout of the medal.
“I think I’m ranked ninth in the Commonwealth at the moment. But there is a metre-and-a-half between me and second place and that is nothing in hammer throwing.”
Williamson, who represented Great Britain as a junior, says it has taken him time to get to the level he is at now.
For the past two-and-a-half years he has been a firefighter based at East Greenwich and fitting training in around that schedule has proved a challenge.
But with the support of his station bosses at Greenwich, he has found a way to balance his work and athletics and now believes the only way is up.
“It was quite difficult combining training and work but I’ve got that sorted now,” he said.
“I’ve had a new team around me for the past couple of years of coach Malcolm Fenton and Rob Earle and I’ve worked out that doing less is sometimes worth more.
“It’s all coming together and I believe I can throw somewhere between 73m and 75m. Hopefully that will be at the Commonwealths!”
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