Steve Backley tips rising javelin star Matti Mortimore to reach new heights in 2013
BRITISH javelin legend Steve Backley has sent out a warning to the next generation of budding throwers – by insisting rising star Matti Mortimore can resurrect his career in 2013.
Mortimore, of Woodbridge, has long been tipped as the breakout star to follow in the footsteps of Backley, who won two Olympic silver medals in a distinguished career.
But a series of unfortunate injuries has stunted Mortimore’s rocketing progress.
He was injured from July 2009 to March 2010 due to a traffic collision and sustained a back injury in February 2011.
But the teenager, who broke the under-15 javelin record five times in 2007, showed signs of a revival at the Olympic trials last May, comfortably conquering the U20 field with a throw of 70.54m – just 6cm short of his personal best – and narrowly missing out on London 2012 qualification.
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And, after being awarded a four-year scholarship at the prestigious New Orleans University in America, this month, to develop his burgeoning career, Backley has backed Mortimore to finally fulfil his potential.
“He was the wonderkid a few years ago and sort of lost his way a little bit – but he seems to be coming back now,” said three-time Commonwealth Games champion Backley.
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“I think he had a better year in 2012 and he is getting to an age now where we expect him to move on.
“He’s not a kid anymore. Hopefully 2013 is the year he can breakout.
“I met his parents a few years back and did a session with him then and have coached him on an ad-hoc basis.
“I have been very impressed with him. He has got all the attributes needed to succeed and he can go all the way without a doubt.”