Top talents to call the shots in Portsmouth festival

SARAH HUNT is hoping she has saved her best for last as City of Portsmouth host their Shot & Hammer Festival tomorrow.

Saturday, 24th September 2016, 5:20 pm
Updated Wednesday, 5th October 2016, 2:08 pm
From left: Sophie Lockyer, Sarah Hunt, Kameron Duxbury, Hollie Thurgood and Serena Vincent. Picture: Paul Smith

It’s the final opportunity this summer for the top throwers to compete together.

They will be cheered on by a home crowd at the Mountbatten Centre.

This will be the first throwing festival City of Portsmouth have hosted .

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Many of Great Britain’s top-ranked athletes will be in action in Portsmouth, while double Commonwealth Games medallist Mike Winch and British all-time shot put number one Judy Oakes OBE will be at the track to provide coaching and expertise.

Hunt has been restricted a bit by a foot injury this summer but she has still had good season, competing strongly in the under-15 age group and making her mark on the national stage.

Her training partner Serena Vincent is the UK No1 in the age group and has been collecting national titles this summer, while City have many other talented throwers including Gaia Osborne, Kameron Duxbury, Sophie Lockyer, Hollie Thurgood and Madeline Wilton.

They will all be looking to finish the season with a flourish tomorrow with the first events starting at 10am and the final competitions at 4pm.

Hunt said: ‘It’s been a fun season, I’ve pushed myself to try to get 12 metres but with my injury it has been hard.

‘The experience of going to the major competitions was really good, especially English Schools because you travel up and stay there.

‘It’s great to have the chance to compete in Portsmouth.

‘All the coaches will be here, so that makes it a better environment to compete in.

‘The people we compete against in the national competitions are a really good standard.

‘I enjoy competing against them, it makes you push harder.

‘It’s a good last chance to get the distance I want to get this season.

‘Competing with Serena is great, she is my best friend.

‘We compete against each other but we help each other as well along the way.’

‘I like competing with her, she’s better than me and it helps to push me as well.’

City of Portsmouth coach Andrew Vincent has organised the festival.

He said: ‘It would be good to get the people from Portsmouth to come in, have a look, and see what is going on here.

‘It is inspiring, it’s inspiring for me as a coach.

‘We’ve got the best under-15 and under-17 throwers in the UK.

‘We’ve got some 70m hammer throwers and we’ll have Joey Watson, who is a 17m shot putter with a 7.26k shot.’

‘It is the end of the season but hopefully we’ll see some big throws.’

Meanwhile, many City athletes will be going for glory at the SEAA Road Relay Championships in Bedford tomorrow.