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Roald Bradstock aiming for 2012 return, aged 50

Roald Bradstock in action at the US Olympic trials
Bradstock is now based in the United States

Javelin thrower Roald Bradstock is targeting a remarkable comeback for the London Olympics in 2012 - when he will be 50 years old.

Born in 1962, Bradstock twice competed for Great Britain at the 1984 and 1988 Olympics, but believes he still has the ability to throw world-class distances.

A throw of 72m last year was the fifth best by a British athlete in 2009.

"I grew up in Lea Valley and it would be a fitting end to compete in London as a 50-year-old," he told 5 live.

"I'm still right in there. Right now Britain is a little weak in the javelin, so I see it as an opportunity for myself to get in there."

I'm just staying as fit as I can and be as careful as I can, then my goal is in two-and-a-half years

Roald Bradstock

Now based in the United States, Bradstock has also competed in three Olympic trials for his adopted country.

His throw of 72m set a new world age record, boosting his hopes of competing at the highest level for the third time for his home country in London.

"Every day I go out and I can still throw," he told the London Calling programme. "I'm very appreciative of it because I don't know when it's going to end.

"Hopefully I can go through to 2012. I'm just staying as fit as I can and be as careful as I can, then my goal is in two-and-a-half years."


Bradstock's first meeting was back in 1979 and he competed in one of the strongest eras of British throwing, alongside Tessa Sanderson and Fatima Whitbread.

Since his last Olympic appearance, Steve Backley has dominated British javelin, winning Olympic silver in 1996 and 2000 before retiring in 2004.

The best mark by a Brit last year was 81.05m, by Mervyn Luckwell of Milton Keynes.

Although he still trains every day, Bradstock admitted his training schedule has changed significantly since his early days as an athlete.


"On Mondays and Fridays I train twice a day, a couple of hours a session and nine in total a week," he said.

"It's still a lot but nowhere near as much as I used to train.

"I train very differently. Now it's about fitness, I still do throwing, bounding and plyometrics, but I really minimise how much of it I do.

"I do it when I need to do it to improve my throwing."

see also
Searle to make 2012 Olympic bid
18 Dec 09 |  Rowing
Athletics on the BBC
21 Apr 11 |  Athletics

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