Joseph Brown vowed to keep his feet firmly on the ground after claiming a stunning silver medal in the Aviva English Schools’ Track & Field Championships in Gateshead last weekend.
The 14-year-old threw a superb 62.57m to finished second in the intermediate javelin competition at the Northumberland venue.
His effort – only bettered by the 63.37m thrown by Nottinghamshire’s Thomas Peters – was all the more remarkable given the nightmare conditions he had to endure in the north east.
And the performance has now earned the Portsmouth Grammar School student a call-up to the England team.
Brown will pull on the national vest in the SIAB Schools’ International later this month.
There he will take on the best teenage talents from Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
And he could not be in better form going into the international event.
Brown’s throw in Gateshead smashed his personal best.
It was almost four metres more than the mark he set when netting gold in the Hampshire Championships in Portsmouth on May 12.
But despite securing England recognition – and breaking new boundaries in Gateshead – Brown is adamant he will take a step-by-step approach to the rest of the season.
‘I’m happy with the silver and the performance I gave,’ said the young talent from Catherington, near Horndean.
‘I threw quite well, even though I wasn’t lucky with the weather, so I’m quite pleased.
‘When the weather’s bad you have got to focus on each throw as it comes – not concentrate on distance, just throw as well as you can.
‘It’s been a good year so far but I’ve got to keep it going through the summer.
‘I’ve got to take the competitions as they come as I’m not sure which one’s I will be doing yet.’
Brown won the junior javelin event at the English Schools’ championships last season.
He is among some illustrious company, with many leading athletes launching their careers in the schools events.
Jessica Ennis – one of our leading medal hopes for London 2012 – Jack Green and Andy Turner have all started their careers on the Aviva Athletics Academy schemes. And Brown admitted joining such illustrious former winners has left him with his confidence sky high.
He is even eying another gold medal in 12 months.
‘I won last year at under-15s and this year was my first as an intermediate,’ said the Portsmouth Grammar School starlet.
‘It wasn’t any different, though, and you get a buzz every time you come back. Hopefully I can come back next year and get a gold.
‘It’s great fun to be part of a team and one day I hope to be part of the Aviva GB & NI team as a professional athlete.
‘I’m so excited that I’ll be watching my heroes this summer.
‘I hope it will make a huge difference for our athletes to know we will all be backing the team.’
Brown’s talents are not just restricted to javelin.
He’s a promising young cricketer, too, and is set to play for Hambledon in the Southern Electric Premier League tomorrow.
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