Fifth Shot Put World Title for Aled Davies
Aled Davies (coach: Ryan Spencer-Jones, club: Cardiff) completed a decade of dominance in the men’s F63 shot put at the World Para Athletics Championships in Paris, becoming the ninth British athlete to win gold.
Davies, competing in the shot put for just the fourth time this year and fifth time since retaining his Paralympic title in Tokyo September 2021, won his fifth successive world title in the event dating back to Lyon in 2013, with a fifth-round best of 16.16m on his return to France.
“The performance probably wasn’t my best, but after the winter I’ve had it was all about just holding it together out there. I think my coach will be quite frustrated, but we know what I’m capable of doing and I guess after the disruptive winter I’ve had I’m just happy I can defend my title.
“It was going to be hit and miss whether I was going to be here and there’s no way I could have sat at home and just forfeited a title – I’m glad I could come here and defend it. I put together a 16m throw which was good enough today, but I’ll be back next year for the big throw.”
Davies spent almost all of last year competing in the discus, winning the Commonwealth title in Birmingham, but has done nothing but shot put so far in 2023 and was impressive in the defence of his world title in Paris.
An opening throw of 15.02m gave him a lead he would never relinquish with Davies breaking 16m after a second-round foul with a mark of 16.11m in the third round. A foul in the fourth round preceded his best throw of 16.16m in round five.
Davies completed his competition with a foul as he won by almost two metres – a fifth global title in the shot put added to the three he has in the discus, meaning he is now an eight-time world champion as well as a three-time Paralympic gold medallist.
“As an athlete I’ve always thought about delivering the performance. In London 2017 when I threw my personal best in front of a home crowd, I knew that was what it was all about, that was what all the hard work was for and that was what I wanted.
“I’ve strived for that ever since and there’s been a lot of ups and downs, like any athlete’s journey it’s never plain sailing. What motivates me is I know I’ve got much bigger throws, I know that that world record’s going to go, I know I can throw 18, 19 metres and that’s what I’m aiming for now.
“I’ve told my coach that’s the aim. I want to come back next year and throw a personal best – a world record, in Paris, at the Paralympic Games and absolutely obliterate that Paralympic record once and for all.”