News that the Tunian gold medallist in Beijing competed in the Tunisian national championships back in June, throwing a massive 37.18 metres. That’s a big leap of 1.41 metres from the world record he set in Beijing last September, its a quite unbelievable rate of improvement but not completely surprising given his staggering progression in the two years up to Beijing. I’ve no doubt Mourad will continue to improve up to the World Championships and London 2012, where will it end – Who knows, Mourad is only 25 and seems to have a new lease of life since getting his permanent classification in Beijing. Whether his recent performance will be ratified as a World Record is unclear, but he will probably set further world records at future games. As for me, I carry on as normal, the challenge to improve and to be the best I can be remains the same and always will. It is hard to fathom how someone can progress to being so far ahead of me in such a short space of time, considering I held the world record for 11 years and progressed the event and pushed the boundaries as to what was perceived possible for my classification. As an athlete you know records are made to be broken, but the way the Tunisian is smashing them is unbelievable – its like Usain Bolt – completely out of sync with historic progression. When I set a new World record of 33.53m in Athens, a classifier said if he hadn’t watched the competition, he wouldn’t have believed an F32 could throw that far – now the Tunisian has thrown 3.64 metres over that distance I threw in Athens.
This year my best throw so far has been 33.16, admittedly throwing off one leg, that has me ranked 3rd in the word this year, over 4 metres behind Mourad. I’ve got a couple of competitions left starting this Saturday, and I think I can improve further, but ultimately I’m very happy with how I’ve performed this year with the problems I’ve had.