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Javelin experience no wasted venture for European champion Wallace

Yahoo Sport UK
Wallace will leave Berlin with one European medal in her collection. Pic: Ben Booth Photography

One legal throw in six might not scream javelin success but try telling that to Enfield & Haringey para-athlete Vanessa Wallace.

The thrower brought the curtain down on her medal-producing World Para Athletics European Championships on Friday, smiling her way from beginning to end as she did so in Berlin.

That was despite recording five fouls, an effort of 9.86 metres eventually getting her on the board in the F34 javelin, an event in which athletes compete while seated.

But having never before entered a major competition in what is becoming her developing event, Wallace could far from be disgruntled about finishing seventh in Germany.

“It was as I expected it to be. I am a newbie in the javelin and I tend to just try and get a legal throw because I am still learning,” she said.

“The ones I gave some wellie to went flat and the one where I tried not to go flat tanked and fell short, but it was a legal throw so I’m happy.

“I would have been devastated not to have a legal throw.

“Javelin is so technical and being able to enjoy the competition was really good – it’s just so cool. I love watching it and one day I tell myself I will throw it like those guys.”

Wallace has backed herself to be a force to be reckoned with in javelin in the coming years, knowing that she won’t get to grips with it overnight.

For now however she could be content with one gold medal performance, still on a high after sitting atop the podium in the F34 shot put earlier in the week.

That success has allowed to enjoy each and every second of her time in Berlin, already relishing the chance to take on the best at next year’s World Championships.

“I will catch those guys – just give me some time,” added Wallace, who was born with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, which causes joint problems and affects leg mobility. “I look forward to becoming a more competent javelin thrower.

“There was no pressure having already claimed a gold, it was just go out and have some fun with it.

“It took me three years to get a gold in shot put so there’s a little while before I can get one in the javelin but watch this space.

“It has been a phenomenal week. I’ve matured as an athlete and seen it come to fruition here, now I’m just looking forward to seeing what the next two years hold and hopefully that means going to a Paralympic Games in Tokyo in 2020.”

British Athletics works alongside UK Sport and the National Lottery to support the delivery of success at the world’s most significant sporting events, principally the Olympic and Paralympic Games. They do this via the funded initiative, the World Class Programme, one part of the British Athletics pathway.

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