Gold for hammer throwing ace Sam

Sam Gaskell with his gold medal
Sam Gaskell with his gold medal

There was a show of strength from Preston teenager Sam Gaskell at the New Balance English Schools Track and Field Championships.

Hutton Grammar School pupil Gaskell won the Inter Boys’ hammer event with a huge throw of 68.75m – a personal best for the 16-year-old.

It left him ranked No.1 in Britain for the Under-17s age category.

The English Schools’ Track and Field Championship is one of the biggest athletics meetings in the country and is held at Alexandra Stadium in Birmingham.

The hammer event was well contested, 16-year-old Gaskell up against stern competition.

The first seven all threw distances further than the national standard, with three more achieving the English Schools standard.

It needed something quite special to win and Gaskell came up with the goods, throwing the 68.75m. He trains at Blackburn Harriers and is coached by Michael Hitchon – the father of Olympic bronze medal winner Sophie Hitchon.

After getting gold, Gaskell thanked Blackburn Harriers for their guidance.

He said: “I just want to say that I’m thankful for what the club does to help and support me as a Blackburn Harrier, I really appreciate it.

“I would also like to thank my coach Mick Hitchon who helps me day in, day out.”

His proud mum Deborah said: “Sam has been hammer throwing for the last four years or so.

“He used to do shot putt and the discus and it was Bob Welfare at Preston Harriers who suggested he tried the hammer.

“Eventually Sam had to choose one event and he went for hammer throwing.

“He moved to Blackburn Harriers to work with Michael Hitchon and is doing so well.

“Sam trains four or five times a week, he’s dedicated.

“On Saturday he is going up to Edinburgh to take part in the UK Championships and hopefully he can do well.”