Welsh thrower doran is getting 'better and better'
Gary Baker on 22/06/2012
Lee Doran is aiming a long way - and not just in terms of how far he can throw a javelin.
Doran, 27, will be defending his UK Championships title in Birmingham this month and, if he can beat his personal best, set last year in winning the British crown, by five metres, he should nail a place at the London Olympics.
It is a long shot, but Doran knows what it takes to win.
In all his competitions, both domestic and international during 2011, Doran never finished anywhere lower than second - and that was only twice out of 14 events.
He went into this month's Welsh Championships in Cardiff as third in the UK Rankings with a throw of 75.40metres, and climbed into second place with a new Championships best performance of 77.99m.
It beat the 26-year-old Championships best of 73.52m set by Newham's Colin Mckenzie but was still short of the 79.50m, which is the 'B' standard.
Now it is a race against time before the end of the month to improve further, get the 'B' standard and at least be in the thoughts of the team selectors for a place in London.
Doran is going to give it his best shot but, if it does not happen and he cannot get the 'A' standard by the cut-off date at the start of July which would put him in pole position for selection, then it will be all guns blazing for the 2014 Commonwealth Games and getting more out of the tank for a real shot at the 2016 Rio Olympics.
Doran said: "Last year, throwing my PB at the UK Champs was very special. Hopefully this year I can build on 2011.
"For the Olympics this year, it is a choice of three throwers (for the Great Britain team) and if you hit the 'A' standard once or twice, all you have to do is get into the top two at the UK Championships for the team.
"There is myself and one other (in contention) and I don't think there are any other athletes too close to us.
"I opened up this year at 75m, which I was pleased about, and then had a six-week hard training block. So I'm starting to feel fresh, training has been good and so I'm hoping for some big throws."
Doran has throwing guru John Davies as his coach and neither think the athlete has reached his best yet.
"I am a later peaker and I still have another five or six years as a javelin thrower. I have three or four of them as my best years so I know there is definitely a lot to look forward to in the future.
"I am improving on my training every year. I have thrown all my big throws in difficult conditions and I am yet to have a competition with perfect conditions so I think, this year, I'm in better shape - I'm stronger and faster.
"My speed is good coming down the runway so when that transfers into good throws in the coming weeks, I should blitz my PB.
"The main purpose for this year was to peak for the UK Championships and Olympic Trials in Birmingham but we don't want to peak too early because, if you do, by the Olympics, you will be over-trained.
"So the plan was to peak at the Trials and then maintain it. The cut-off date is July 1 and you have to have the A standard by then.
"It would be great to be in London and not just qualify for the Olympics but get to the (javelin) final as well. If I get 82m, then you can say, basically, that it is a guaranteed final. And anything can happen."
Then it is onward to Glasgow. Doran, who was fifth in the last Commonwealth Games final in Delhi, knows there is unfinished business in 2014.
"I was disappointed to get fifth and I need to get out all my frustrations in 2014. We (Doran and Davies) have done a plan over the next few years and my target for 2014 is 85m. Fingers crossed, if I continue to jump in standard like I have done in the last few years, I don't see why not."
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