Thrower takes gold at UK Athletics Championships with 65.00m in Manchester

Nick Percy was all smiles after sealing his fifth British title with a 65.00m throw in Manchester on Sunday (June 26). “It’s like breaking the 10-second barrier in the 100 metres,” he said.

The 27-year-old held the Scottish record previously with 64.95m but improved his best in the third round at a blustery Regional Manchester Arena.

“I didn’t think it was going to be that far,” he told AW, describing the moment the discus left his hand. “I knew it was going to be a good throw but not that good as it was difficult conditions.

“As soon as I heard ‘65’ I didn’t even wait to listen to the centimetres,” the Shaftesbury Barnet man added. “It’s a huge mark to break. It’s like breaking the 10-second barrier in the 100 metres. It’s a big relief to finally do it.”

Percy’s throw was also the best ever in this event by a British athlete as the championship record is held by Juan Martinez of Cuba with 65.72m from 1985.

Behind Percy, Zane Duquemin took silver with 63.76m as Greg Thompson earned bronze with 61.23m. Lawrence Okoye, meanwhile, struggled to get into the groove and only had one legal throw of 60.32m as he finished fifth, although the UK record-holder has the world qualifier from last year.

James Whiteaker of Blackheath & Bromley took the javelin title with 74.06m ahead of promising junior Benjamin East of Team Kennet, who threw a world under-20 qualifier of 73.49m. “To get the gold at the British champs is brilliant,” said Whiteaker. “To get a big one out first round was great because I could relax and it helps me not let the occasion get to me.  I could focus on my technique.”

Ben Williams won the triple jump title by more than half a metre with 16.76m despite an attack of cramp in his warm-up. “It was a tough one with not only the conditions but getting cramp in the warm up,” he said, “but us Stokeys are built of grit so I worked through it.”

Ben Williams (Mark Shearman)

He added: “I am in good shape and it is early in the season. I can train full time and I am concentrating on the Commonwealth Games where I really want to bring home that gold medal.”

The event was also notable for being the final competition of British athletics stalwart Nathan Douglas. The championship record-holder finished fifth here with 15.73m and the 39-year-old said: “I am feeling very emotional. The crowd were amazing today. What a send off they gave me. I really appreciate it.

“I have really enjoyed my years in the sport could not have asked for any more. It is a wonderful sport to be involved in and I have enjoyed every minute.”

Reynold Banigo jumped 8.00m to win the long jump and it was with a legal tailwind too of 1.4m/sec. “The last time that I won it was 2020 and since then I have had a few injuries,” he said.

“Now I am back jumping well, fully fit and jumping over eight metres on several occasions. I want to build on that and looking forwards to the rest of the season. Europeans is on the cards, I just need to keep the momentum going and hopefully I can get on the podium there.”

» For more coverage from the Müller UK Athletics Champs, CLICK HERE