Okoye talks up medal hopes

British discus thrower Lawrence Okoye feels he is well on course to be "in the mix" for a medal at the London Olympics - less than two years after taking up the sport full-time.

Okoye, who had been a highly promising rugby union player, only switched his focus fully to the discus in September 2010 after leaving school. Since then the 20-year-old Londoner has twice broken the British discus record, the latest occasion being earlier this month with a throw of 68.24 metres in Germany.

The Olympic 'A' standard is 65m and Okoye, looking London-bound ahead of next month's trials for the Games, is in optimistic mood about his prospects for the summer.

Asked how he saw his chances of medalling at the Olympics, Okoye told Press Association Sport: "I'm sure if I perform to my best as I hope to do, then I'll be in the mix.

"You can't foresee what is going to happen, so I'm just focusing on training every day and making sure I am working as hard as possible.

"We will probably find that the average age of the finalists (in London) will be around late 20s to early 30s, so it is great to be up there with those guys as such a young age - this is how I want it to be. I'm happy to compete with these guys at the stage I'm at and I'm sure I'll hold my own at the Games with them."

Okoye's rapid progress suffered a blip last year when he failed to make the GB squad for the World Championships in Daegu.

The Croydon-born athlete believes he has stepped things up considerably since then and says the setback does not play on his mind - although he is certainly not about to get complacent.

"I just have to make sure I stay on top of things," Okoye said. "I've had a good start to the year, but in the past we have seen a lot of people make good starts and fade out - like I did last year.

"I have to make sure I keep working hard on a day-to-day basis, keep the training loads as high as they need to be and keep the intensity up for as long as that needs to be for. Hopefully, come the summer, I should be in good shape to throw far."