Greaves to Challenge Campbell at BT Paralympic World Cup

American Jeremy Campbell could be a threat to British favourite Dan Greaves in the Discus competition both in Manchester and London this year. 20 May 2012
Great Britain's athlete Dan Greaves

Dan Greaves is one of the IPC's Ones to Watch athletes for the London 2012 Paralympic Games.

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“We know that London’s the big show, and I’d much prefer to have a massive throw there than early on in the year.”

Just when Dan Greaves had been deemed the favourite to win London 2012 gold in the Discus F44 event, his biggest rival, USA’s Jeremy Campbell, became the first para-athlete to throw over 60m in a competition.

Campbell, the Beijing 2008 gold medallist, threw 60.19m at last month’s Triton Invitational in California on his second attempt of the competition.

And he did so after an interesting first attempt of the competition, to say the least.

"I threw it on my second throw of my four in the competition in San Diego, and on my first throw I broke my (prosthetic) leg partially," Campbell said at the US Paralympics Media Summit last week.

"So my world-record throw was on a broken leg."

Greaves and Campbell will now face each other on Tuesday (22 May) at the BT Paralympic World Cup in Manchester – an event their rivalry could easily highlight.

“He obviously wants to come back and defend his title after Beijing,” Greaves said. “It will be good to see what kind of work he’s been doing. It will make quite a good competition.”

After winning gold at the Athens 2004 Paralympic Games, Greaves had to settle for bronze at Beijing 2008 before smashing the world record with a throw of 58.98m three years later at the 2011 International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Athletics World Championships in Christchurch, New Zealand.

Then, he threw a distance of 59.27m last May at the BT Paralympic World Cup and 59.58m a month later at the US Paralympic Track and Field Championships.

With Campbell answering successfully, Greaves is ready to up his game once again.

“For me it’s about meeting my rivals and competing against them there and setting down a bit of a target over 60m because I’ve been throwing that regularly in training,” Greaves said.

“Confidence is really high at the moment. I went from the demise in Beijing to winning the world champs and now getting close to 60m, which has been a great uplift.”

A 29-year-old Greaves said he is in the best shape of his life right now and mentioned that he just broke the 200kg bench-press mark a couple of weeks ago.

“I’ve been wanting that for a long time,” he chuckled, proudly.

But at the London 2012 Athletics test event, he did not have the chance to warm up, as he was late due to traffic.

He finished with a disappointing mark of 54.93m.

Greaves hopes he can make up for that in Manchester, at what he believes will be a surprising event for spectators.

“It’s a chance for the public to see not only Britain’s stars, but also some of the international Paralympic stars who will be competing in London,” Greaves said. “It’s always been a good atmosphere in the past.

“I hope it will make people realize how hard Paralympic athletes work and ahead of London clue people up.”

While Greaves would love to throw beyond 60m in Manchester, he still wants to wait until the end of the summer to hit his peak.

“If we’re really consistent in training, then it will just happen in a competition,” Greaves said.

“We know that London’s the big show, and I’d much prefer to have a massive throw there than early on in the year.”

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