Michael Muckelt goes in search of English Schools’ glory tomorrow.
The fast-improving City of Portsmouth ace carries his club’s hopes into action in Gateshead.
Muckelt will be flying the flag as City’s only entry at the prestigious national competition.
The javelin talent has been making his mark and showing versatility at county level with success at the Hampshire County Combined Events Championships.
That preceded a 57m 78cm effort which was enough to give him victory at the County Championships in May.
Muckelt has been backed to make an impression against the best young talent the country has to offer when he goes into action.
The 17-year-old has been coached by Bronwin Carter for the past two years, who has noticed a fast-tracked improvement.
Carter is certain Muckelt won’t be overawed by the occasion.
Now she has challenged her charge to make the most of his opportunity.
Carter said: ‘Michael is up for it and I’ve no doubt he will do well.
‘He just needs to learn to control his aggression a little bit so we get a decent throw out of him.
‘He’s not the type of person to get fazed by any of the big guns.
‘Michael has come on a lot recently.
‘He has a very good attitude towards his work.
‘Michael is always up for it, likes a challenge and always wants to beat everyone in the gym!
‘He has to be a monster in there with all the others because that’s what all the other top throwers are.
‘But he has shown he can hold his form in big competitions and compete with all the others.
‘Hopefully he’ll do the same in the English Schools and get things to go a bit further.
‘He’s in with a chance – he has to take it.’
Muckelt’s quality in the multi-events sphere was evident with his under-20 pentathlon win back in May.
So it’s been a brave move to focus his efforts on success with the javelin.
Carter feels there’s little wrong with him showing his versatility.
But the decision to aim his attention in one area has reaped obvious benefits.
Carter said: ‘Michael’s been at the club several years.
‘But he decided to focus on javelin only last year.
‘He used to do multi-events – he won the Hampshire Multi-Events Championships this year.
‘Mixing things up a bit doesn’t hurt and I think that has done him a favour.
‘He has a lot to learn but he is strong and is up there in the mix.
‘When he first came to me he was throwing a 700g javelin about 50m.
‘Then he improved to 58m before going to senior javelin and has already thrown that 57m.
‘He’s improved immensely and is after club records.’