Throwers make waves both home and away

Last weekend saw a crop of England’s finest throws athletes making waves both at home and away. Whilst a 14-strong team were starring in Sweden, Katie Head went second on the UK’s all-time list for the women’s hammer behind 2016 Olympic bronze medallist Sophie Hitchon.

Katie Head Hammer ThrowKatie’s throw of 69.72m saw the Newham & Essex Beagles athlete coached by Paul Head achieving a 2022 Commonwealth Games standard and puts her third on the Commonwealth Games ranking for 2022, fifth in the world. After bettering her PB by four metres, Katie was rightly proud of her efforts at Saturday’s Woodford Winter Throws Invitation, posting on Instagram afterwards:

“Hasn’t quite sunk in yet but I am so excited for the rest of 2022.”

Meanwhile, on the same day at the Växjö throwing festival in Sweden, an English throws team featuring a mixture of athletes across different age groups and talent programmes along the talent pathway achieved 11 indoor personal bests, 11 season’s bests, eight podium finishes, and one personal best overall. Discus thrower Chuk Osammor (James Taylor, Sheffield & Dearne) threw further than he’s ever achieved either indoors or outdoors with 55.58m. It saw the U23 athlete secure second spot overall but the first in his age category.

Senior athletes Bekah Walton (David Turner, Blackheath & Bromley) and Greg Thompson (Neville Thompson, Shaftesbury Barnet) both claimed the top spot in their respective disciplines of javelin and discus whilst discus throwers Zara Obamakinwa (Mark Chapman, Blackheath & Bromley) and James Wordsworth (Neil Ellerby, North Shields Poly), and javelin thrower Sophie Hamilton (Ken Holmes, Mendip) triumphed in the U20 age group.

Senior shot putters Youcef Zatat (Woodford Green and Essex Ladies), Sophie McKinna (Mike Winch, Great Yarmouth), and javelin thrower Emma Hamplett (Mike McNeill, Birchfield Harriers) came second in their competitions whilst George Hyde (Stuart Carlaw, Harrow) finished third in the U23 men’s shot put.

There were unofficial British indoor records for James, Zara, Sophie, Bekah, and Lauren Farley (Mark Chapman, Blackheath & Bromley) in the U23 women’s javelin.

Team Lead Mark Chapman, who was joined by Nick Ridgeon, England Athletics Event Group Lead for Throws, and Team Manager Sarah Friday, said:

“It was an excellent competition at the right time of year ahead of the UK winter long throws championship and as part of the athletes’ preparation for Birmingham 2022 and World U20 championships for the junior athletes. Overall, a fantastic trip with excellent team ethos and support for everyone.”

Sophie McKinna, England Team Captain, said:

“The team performed well with a mix of both youth and experience blended together. A great start to an important championship year for all concerned. It was a real pleasure to captain the England team.”

Developing and supporting the country’s high-performing athletes across all ages, event groups, and disciplines is one of the key focus areas of the England Athletics strategy through to 2032 and is linked to our Journey to 2022 campaign - celebrating England’s hosting of a ‘home’ Commonwealth Games in 2022.

Vaxjo throws team 2022

The full England team in Sweden was as follows

Women’s Shot Put

  • Senior: Sophie McKinna (Coach: Mike Winch. Club: Great Yarmouth. World Class Programme)

Men’s Shot Put

  • Senior: Youcef Zatat (Woodford Green and Essex Ladies. Senior Talent Programme)
  • Under 23: George Hyde (Stuart Carlaw. Harrow. Junior Talent Programme - Talent)

Men’s Discus

  • Senior: Greg Thompson (Neville Thompson. Shaftesbury Barnet. Commonwealth Games Programme)
  • Under 23: Chuk Osammor (James Taylor. Sheffield & Dearne. Junior Talent Programme - Talent)
  • Under 20: James Wordsworth (Neil Ellerby. North Shields Poly. Junior Talent Programme - Talent)

Women’s Discus

  • Senior: Amy Holder (Neville Thompson. Windsor Slough Eton & Hounslow. Senior Talent Programme)
  • Senior: Phoebe Dowson (Mark Chapman. Bournemouth. Senior Talent Programme)
  • Under 23: Taia Tunstall (Stuart Carlaw. Harrow. Junior Talent Programme - Talent)
  • Under 20: Zara Obamakinwa (Mark Chapman. Blackheath & Bromley. Youth Talent Programme)

Women’s Javelin

  • Senior: Bekah Walton (David Turner. Blackheath & Bromley. Senior Talent Programme)
  • Senior: Emma Hamplett (Mike McNeill. Birchfield Harriers. Senior Talent Programme)
  • Under 23: Lauren Farley (Mark Chapman. Blackheath & Bromley. Junior Talent Programme - Talent)
  • Under 20: Sophie Hamilton (Ken Holmes. Mendip. Youth Talent Programme)


Click for full England Team results

Photo of Katie by Mark Shearman
Photo of Chuk by Pat Isaacs