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INTERNATIONAL PARALYMPIC COMMITTEE
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An athlete celebrates winning gold

Aled Davies

Athletics
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1

Davies won the shot put and discus F42 at the London 2017 World Championships – successfully notching up a hat trick of golden doubles, having also topped the podium in both events at the previous two World Championships.

There’s no doubt the Welshman has enjoyed terrific form in recent years, breaking multiple world records in both the discus and shot put, as well as winning gold at the last two Paralympic Games – discus F42 gold at London 2012 and shot put F42 gold Rio 2016. He also won double gold at both the 2014 and 2016 European Championships.

When it comes to throwing, he is the man to beat.

Davies’ potential was clear from an early age - even as a junior, he was a consistent performer, finishing on the podium at the IWAS World Junior Championships in 2009, 2010 and 2011.

Davies first broke the world record at the Lyon 2013 World Championships, where he threw 14.71m in the shot put.

In 2015, with a new coach - former Welsh national shot put champion Ryan Spencer-Jones - and a new training regime, Davies kicked off the season with new world records in the shot put and discus at the Dubai Grand Prix in UAE.

His winning ways continued throughout the year, culminating in two World Championship gold medals in Qatar. His new regime – which saw the Welshman ‘rebuild’ his body and lose four stone – was certainly proving successful.

He extended his world records again in 2016 ahead of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games where he won shot put F42 gold, finishing more than 1.5m clear of his rivals.

At London 2017, he added a phenomenal 1.39m on to his previous world record mark with his second attempt in the shot put circle, while in the discus he threw a new championship record 51.54m.

He was made a Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2013 New Year’s Honours List.

Biography

Impairment information

Type of Impairment
Impaired range of motion
Origin of Impairment
Congenital
Classification
F42

Further personal information

Residence
Bridgend, WAL
Occupation
Athlete, Motivational Speaker
Languages
English, Welsh
Higher education
Sports Management - Cardiff Metropolitan University: Wales

Sport specific information

When and where did you begin this sport?
He took up athletics at age 14 in Cardiff, Wales.
Why this sport?
He was a keen rugby player and swimmer as a child, but he also felt that his impairment would stop him reaching his full potential. He was inspired to try athletics after watching the 2004 Paralympic Games in Athens.
Name of coach
Ryan Spencer-Jones [personal], GBR, from 2014
Training Regime
He trains for an average of five hours a day.

International debut

Year
2010
Competing for
Great Britain
Tournament
World Cup
Location
Manchester, ENG

General interest

Nicknames
The Bear, Polish [because he has trained with the Polish able-bodied squad]. (walesonline.co.uk, 23 Dec 2014; Athlete, 07 Dec 2010)
Hobbies
Watching television, walking his dog, playing music as a DJ, cooking. (paralympic.org, 08 Jun 2017, 16 Feb 2016)
Memorable sporting achievement
Winning gold in the F42 discus at the 2012 Paralympic Games in London. (paralympic.org, 02 Feb 2016)
Most influential person in career
Coach Anthony Hughes. (walesonline.co.uk, 23 Dec 2014)
Injuries
He underwent hernia surgery in July 2015, and was unable to compete at the Anniversary Games in London, England. (bbc.co.uk, 17 Jul 2015)

He required an operation on a long-standing foot injury between the 2013 and 2014 athletics seasons. (bbc.co.uk, 08 Apr 2014)

He tore the ligaments in his knee in 2009. (Athlete, 07 Dec 2010)
Superstitions / Rituals / Beliefs
He listens to music before he competes. (Athlete, 07 Dec 2010)
Sporting philosophy / motto
"Wing it." (Athlete, 07 Dec 2010)
Awards and honours
He was named the International Paralympic Committee [IPC] Athlete of the Month for May 2014. (paralympic.org, 11 Jun 2014)

In May 2014 he carried the Queen's Baton atop of Mount Snowdon in Wales, as part of the relay ahead of the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland. He was later named captain of the Welsh squad for the Games. (insidethegames.biz, 31 May 2014; bbc.co.uk, 11 Jun 2014)

He was named Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire [MBE] in the 2013 New Year's Honours list. (walesonline.co.uk, 04 May 2013)
Ambitions
To win gold at the 2019 World Championships in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and to compete at the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo. (dai-sport.com, 30 Jan 2019)
Impairment
He has limited movement in his right leg as he is missing bones and has no muscle or articulation from foot to hip. He wears a leg brace while competing. (dai-sport.com, 30 Jan 2019; aleddavies-f42.co.uk, 11 Jan 2015; Athlete, 07 Dec 2010)
Other information
NEW LEG BRACE
The leg brace he wears to compete broke twice while he was competing at the 2018 European Championships in Berlin, Germany, and had to be taped up mid-competition. He has since started using a different type of brace. "We've been struggling to find the correct one; to be back where we were when I was throwing my furthest. It's the hardest part for me. A lot of people don't realise how frustrating it is when I'm physically ready to go and I know I'm hitting all my targets, I'm stronger and quicker than ever. I know I'm in shape to throw big. I'm wearing an orthotic that weighs 12 kilos now, which is about two stone. Having that extra weight on has been tough to get used to, but it's working and we're finally moving in the right direction." (dai-sport.com, 30 Jan 2019)

POST-GAMES DEPRESSION
He won his second Paralympic gold medal at the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro, but found it difficult to get back into a routine once he returned to the UK. He later revealed that he had experienced depression, and that he had considered quitting the sport in 2017. "I just really struggled, everything was perfect but I seemed very unhappy and I got myself into a rut that I couldn't get out of. It has opened up my mind to mental health and I'm all for raising awareness of it now. I can't stress enough how important it is to talk to people. It's okay to talk, you're not weak." (bbc.com, 23 Feb 2018; paralympic.org, 16 May 2017)

WEIGHT LOSS
Ryan Spencer-Jones agreed to become his new coach in 2014, on the condition that Davies would lose at least 25 kilograms in weight. His training regime focused solely on conditioning for the first six months, and he was able to lose 32 kilograms in total. "I feel like a new man. I feel like I haven't actually shown off this new me, and this new technique, and what I'm capable of doing. I feel like I'm a new athlete that needs to win all these new titles." (paralympic.org, 17 Jun 2015)

Results

Unit Date Rank
2011 IPC Athletics World Championships (Christchurch, New Zealand)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Men's Shot Put F42 Final 2011-01-25 4
Men's Discus Throw F42 Final 2011-01-27 2
London 2012 Paralympic Games (London, Great Britain)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Men's Shot Put F42/44 Final Round 2012-08-31 3
Men's Discus Throw F42 Final Round 2012-09-02 1
IPC Athletics World Championships (Lyon, France)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Men's Shot Put F42 Final 1 2013-07-20 1
Men's Discus Throw F42 Final 1 2013-07-23 1
IPC Athletics 2015 World Championships (Doha, Qatar)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Men's Shot Put F42 Final 1 2015-10-22 1
Men's Discus Throw F42 Final 1 2015-10-28 1
Rio 2016 Paralympic Games (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Men's Shot Put F42 Final Round 2016-09-12 1
World Para Athletics Championships London 2017 (London, Great Britain)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Men's Discus Throw F42 Final 1 2017-07-16 1
Men's Shot Put F42 Final 1 2017-07-22 1