Michael Jenkins wins World Para Silver on his Championship debut
Michael Jenkins (Ryan Spencer-Jones, Pembrokeshire Harriers) enjoyed the competition of his life on his Great Britain & Northern Ireland debut to win a memorable podium finish. Entering the competition with a best of 15.30m, the 19-year-old added over a metre and a half to his personal best to win a brilliant world silver medal in a competition littered with many a record.
Kicking off with an immediate personal best in round one courtesy of 16.46m, a mark he then replicated in round three after a foul in between.
After threatening the 17-metre barrier in round four with 16.94m, Jenkins then unloaded a 17.14m monster with his penultimate throw, a huge European record. Notably, every single throw of Jenkins’ on the night would have matched or bettered the world record pre-competition, however, Jose Gregorio Lemos of Columbia saw to a huge revision of that as he launched out to 18.26m to win the title.
Jenkins closed out 16.77m to close up a competition of five legal throws, three consecutive personal bests, one European record and a world silver medal.
After the competition, an equally astonished and elated Jenkins said:
“It’s surreal and my heart is pounding. I’m sure it will be for the coming days – it’s incredible and I’m very proud.
“Going out there, I did have a lot of expectations – I wanted to push it, I wanted to smash my own best, and as a minimum I wanted to get the European record – that was my main goal going in.
“The really strong competition definitely helped push me – I don’t think I would’ve got that 17-metre throw without the pressure of the other athletes trying to raise the distance. All the boys out there are lovely and accommodating – I was the youngest out athlete there, and they were all giving me tips on how to handle the pressure and generally pushing me to throw as a far as I can.