James Tomlinson: Teenage discus talent in the #ThrowThursday hot seat

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Skilful James Tomlinson won England Under-20 gold and came fifth in Europe this year. Photo: Melissa Gresswell/Lissgphotography

Throw Thursday is discus day this week as one of Britain’s brightest young throwing prospects has a turn in the Vinco hot seat.

19-year-old James Tomlinson, co-captain of the GB junior team at the European Under-20 Championships this summer, raves about his scrambled eggs. With studying along with training on the agenda this autumn, he won’t be putting all of them in one basket just yet!

Introduce yourself…

My name is James Christopher Tomlinson, I’m a 6ft6 discus thrower from the far west county of Pembrokeshire, Wales. I have been ranked number one in the UK in my respective age group since 2015 and currently hold the British under-18 record with 63.48m and the Welsh junior record at 61.64m.

What are the perks that come with being 6ft6?

You can answer every person who asks you how tall you are with “the same as Anthony Joshua”.

What do you like most about discus throwing? What’s the toughest thing about it?

I hate discus throwing most the time but when it goes right it is the best feeling and most addictive, similar to the peak of any other sport like a goal in football or a try in rugby. I love the sport really, just the hardest thing is that it is so technical and the margin for error is so small. There is so much to do in under two seconds it does not bare thinking about, this is why us throwers are all about repetition, so ultimately we do not have to think about it and the movement pattern becomes muscle memory.

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What is your favourite experience of your career so far and why?

Honestly, I can not pick one but one that has stood out this season was the sixth round of the European Junior Championships in Sweden where I faced the strongest field that Championships had seen in almost a decade. I had one throw left and my best to that point was just over 59m which was a little painful as it was so close to 60, but not quite.

I went over to the team coach, Adrian Palmer and we decided I had nothing to loose and just to go for it. As I walked over to take my final throw, the camera followed me in and I was in the spotlight a little so in last round fashion I got a clap going, hyped myself up and threw as far as a could, letting out a loud scream following my throw. It landed over 60m and left me just outside the medals but it was so satisfying knowing I gave 100% in the spotlight.

How would your coach and your parents describe you?

My coach would probably describe me as a bit of a tart as I have been known to complain about the most trivial of things but overall we have a really good relationship so he would say I am usually a happy and energetic person with a lot of potential and some talent to follow!

My parents would probably describe me as their favourite (and only) son and a strong contender as the favourite child but in all seriousness they would say I am a well-rounded person with big goals and a smile (most of the time).

Out of the worlds best throwers, who do you love to watch most and why?

My favourite thrower is the Estonian Olympic champion, Gerd Kanter as he is the definition of a role model but my favourite to watch because of his true showmanship has to be the vest-ripping, hurdle-jumping, mascot-picking up German beast that is Robert Harting (below), who won gold in the men’s discus at the London Olympics in 2012.

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Tell us something you’re good at outside of sport?

Apart from being able to hit a golf ball a fair distance or spinning a discus on my finger I do make some of the best scrambled eggs you will ever taste.

When did you last get into trouble?

Probably back in college when i missed a morning of lessons to go swimming at a lagoon near college in 30 degree heat, was definitely worth it though, we do not get much sun in Wales so when we do get it, sacrifices have to be made!

Any pet peeves?

LOUD EATERS!!!!!!!!!

You’re cooking dinner for Vinco tonight. What are you making?

My famous scrambled eggs of course! Cooked with unsalted butter, seasoned with oregano and topped with watercress, rocket and cherry tomatoes. However, when that doesn’t fill you up and that all I can cook, Domino’s is on me.

You’re starting university this year – describe your emotions as you prepare for the next chapter?

I have just enrolled as a business management student in Cardiff. I have mixed emotions about the move but all of which are positive as I am excited to be able to train with a bigger group in some world-class facilities at Cardiff Metropolitan University as well as continuing my education in a subject that can offer many opportunities.

What’s on your to-do list at the moment?

My number one priority is to recover from freshers flu, closely followed by learning to cook!

What are your ambitions for next year?

I am setting the bar high next year as I want to start my senior career by breaking the 60m line in my first year, it is a big ask but I have an awesome team around me thanks to the British Athletics Futures program and Welsh Athletics.

 If you had to give people one ‘Tomlinson’s Top Tip’ about life: what’d be your best piece of advice?

Ask my mum, our top tip would be no matter what is thrown at you, you have to keep on going if you want to reach your goals, no excuses, keep moving forward.

Click here to read more #ThrowThursday features with Harry Hughes, Lewis Byng and Scott Lincoln.