BLACKPOOL, Wyre and Fylde Athletic Club thrower Carl Myerscough has admitted his World Championships adventure in South Korea will define his discus career.
The 31-year-old is at the fourth World Championships of his career, but it is his first with the discus.
A bronze at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi convinced Myerscough to switch his priorities from the shot, and he joins fellow Brits Abdul Buhari and Brett Morse in the event in Daegu.
The World Championships represent the highest he can go, with Myerscough banned from the Olympics after testing positive for a banned substance, anabolic steroids, back in 1999.
But despite that, and his seemingly beneficial switch to the discus, in which he won British silver last month, the thrower admits his long-term plans remain up in the air.
“I made the decision to concentrate on the discus back in October last year, and at the time I didn’t know what was going to happen in the event,” said Myerscough – from a training camp in Ulsan.
“My goal is to make the top eight in the final, and if I do that then I will be reasonably happy.
“We will see how things go in the discus in Daegu, before I decide whether I carry on with it, or go back to the shot next year.
“I have still been practising the shot and keeping my hand in, but the thing with the discus is that it is a bit easier on the body than the shot.
“It is a bit of an experiment, to see what I could do by training to be a discus thrower.
“I study the world rankings, and I think I am ranked about 26th or 27th, but there are a lot of people in a sort of three-metre block within one another, so I am not worried about that.”
Myerscough has long been Britain’s only representative at each year’s major championships, and he believes his switch to the discus has given him a new lease of life.
That and the fact that he now has three British rivals pushing him to board the plane to Daegu – Buhari one of them, having taken the British title, and Morse and Lawrence Okoye the others.
Okoye, who is ranked seventh in the world, paid the price for a poor British Championships, with Morse chosen ahead of him, and Myerscough believes they are all helping him improve.
“The discus has flourished this year and so I have got team-mates for the first time in a long time which is nice,” added Myerscough.
“It’s been good to have that competition. This is my fourth worlds, but the first time I have done discus, and I have never had a teammate.
“I think it will be good to have people to throw and lift with in the final preparations, and it will be helpful for me.
“And the Aviva-funded preparation camp has been an essential part of my preparation and selection for the GB&NI team – it has paved the way for me to achieve my dreams here in Daegu.”
l Myerscough has been preparing at an Aviva-funded preparation camp in Ulsan, Korea. Aviva’s support, both at home and abroad, is helping the team prepare to compete at their best. To find out more, go to aviva.co.uk/athletics or follow the event on Twitter @AvivaAthletics.