Matthew Denny (centre) with a gold medal from the Australian Youth Olympic Festival at Homebush.
Matthew Denny (centre) with a gold medal from the Australian Youth Olympic Festival at Homebush. Contributed

Denny aiming to represent Aus at 2014 Commonwealth Games

ALLORA student Matthew Denny is a young man on a mission - he wants to compete in the 2014 Commonwealth Games trials and be on the plane to Glasgow, Scotland.

Last year, Denny, 16, was ranked first in the world for his age group in discus and third in hammer.

He was overjoyed to better his personal best by four metres last week to win the hammer at the Australian Youth Olympic Festival at the Olympic Stadium in Sydney.

He threw 79.26m on his third attempt to win the U18 hammer.

"I was really hoping I could throw close to that in Sydney as I have thrown more than 80m in training," Denny said.

Last year, he was ranked third in the world in hammer and first in discus.

In the Olympic festival, he won the discus in 64.76m and now has Olympic festival records in both hammer and discus.

He was honoured at the festival as one of the torch bearers during the opening ceremony at the Sydney Entertainment Centre.

"It was an honour to be given a role with the torch," he said.

Denny has qualified for hammer and discus for the July 10-14 World Youth Championship in Donetsk, Ukraine, and only needs a first or second placing at the nationals in Perth on March 12-17 to be assured of selection.

Being ranked in the top-three in the world doesn't faze Denny in the run-up to a likely appearance in Donetsk.

"I will be under less pressure (than some) as I know I can do the throws needed to go close to winning," he said.

Denny is ranked ahead of two Germans in discus.

The highest-ranked hammer thrower last year from Argentina had a best of 81m and an athlete from Spain 77m.

While his major focus at present is the World Youth Championships, Denny said he would love to represent Australia at the Commonwealth and Olympic Games," Denny said.

"I want to compete in next year's trials for the Commonwealth Games team for Glasgow, I believe my best chance to make the team will be in hammer.

"My coach Grahame Pitt isn't putting pressure on me to make the Games, he wants me to take it as it comes."

If he does make the games team, his only concern is the timeframe with the games in Glasgow and the World Junior Championships in Oregan, United States, around the same time.

It is easy to think about the future but the key at present is six or seven training sessions a week under Pitt in Toowoomba.

Denny is a boarder at Toowoomba Grammar School and trains under Pitt at Fairholme College and the O'Quinn Athletics Facility.



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