Okoye on the up ahead of London Games

06 May 2012 / 13:36

British record holder Lawrence Okoye believes he is on an "upward curve" as he aims to challenge for an Olympic medal in the discus on home soil this summer.

Okoye burst onto the scene in July last year with his record throw of 67.63 metres, which suddenly saw the Londoner - just 19 at the time - being tipped for a gold medal in London 2012.

"I'm in great shape, I've moved on a lot since last year," Okoye said after a throw of 63.57m during the Olympic test event. "I've had a good winter and warm-weather training."

The former rugby player, who has postponed an offer to study law at Oxford to pursue athletics, failed to qualify for the World Championships just a few weeks after his record throw.

But the 20-year-old has bounced back with two throws over 66m to be ranked fourth in the world in 2012, and believes he is achieving the consistency he needs to contend at the highest level.

"Throwing 63.57, a distance that will get into Olympic finals, is positive. We just wanted to mimic the qualification rounds so I've done what I've been asked to do so I'm pleased," he said.

"This year I've had two 62s, a 63, two 66s; it's much better than last year. I'm on my upward curve now. I am pleased with how things are going, I'm throwing far on a regular basis and I just have to keep doing that through the season.

Okoye described the discus circle at the Olympic stadium as "perfect" and believes he has an advantage over his rivals after competing at the venue before this summer's Games.

"That's the main reason I wanted to compete here. I can go home with a smile on my face," he added.

"It was really important for me just to see the circle. I can understand why you wouldn't want to come [to the test event], but for a discus thrower it's a huge advantage to actually see the circle you're going to be throwing on."