After throwing the Commonwealth standard for the Javelin at the Loughborough International, we caught up with new member of the 76 metre club, Joe Dunderdale. The U23 Lincoln athlete proved consistency as he threw the Commonwealth standard again the following week at Bedford. With his new PB of 76.13m and being ranked second in the UK, the season is looking great for the Sheffield Hallam student. We chatted to Joe about aims for the season, changes in training and what it would mean to compete at the Commonwealth Games aged just 21.
Was your aim for the competition specifically to get the CWG standard, or just to throw a PB?
Coming into the competition I knew I only had three competitions remaining to throw the CWG standard and so primarily, that my aim. However, I tried not to let this pressurize me by focusing more on the technical aspect of my throw, as I knew from how well training had been going that I could throw a personal best and a CWG standard if I got close to connecting with a throw.
How was the meeting in general – did the atmosphere help your throwing?
The meet had a great atmosphere – the sun was out and there was a great crowd present to support us. My family and girlfriend also came to support me unexpectedly, which gave me that extra bit of adrenaline which aided me in throwing a personal best. The meet was also the first time this year that I had the opportunity to compete against the best javelin throwers in the UK which spurred me as well.
We asked Joe what it would mean to make the Commonwealth Games team, still as just an U23 athete.
It would be an incredible opportunity for me to represent England and experience such a high quality competition surrounded by the best athletes in the Commonwealth (something which I haven’t had much experience of in my athletics career so far). I believe it is definitely something that will positively influence my throwing.
Joe changed coaches in October and explained how this has positively affected his performance.
Last October I changed coaches and started working with Mick Hill. We worked hard all winter, changing certain aspects of my throwing technique which we thought were most important and would significantly increase my throwing distance. It took me a while for me to fully understand and ingrain some of the technical changes we worked on this winter; but now I think we are starting to see those changes benefit my throwing.
How was training specifically in the lead up to the Loughborough International?
Actually, in the lead up to the Loughborough International, training hadn’t been going as well as in previous months. I’d been struggling with a back injury and had been busy revising for my final year exams plus completing my dissertation for my degree, which had limited the amount of training I could do.
Evidently, however, Joe is in great throwing shape and we look forward to seeing a great season from the Lincoln athlete this year. Joe talked about his overall aims for the rest of the season and how he hopes to kick-start a full-time athletics career.
My main aims for this season are to finish in the top 8 at the CWG and to surpass 80m which would qualify me for the European Championships this year in Zurich. These would be great achievements for me and hopefully help me start a full-time career in athletics, providing I receive enough support from UKA funding and private sponsorship. If anyone is interested in supporting me through sponsorship ahead of the CWG please contact: ([email protected])
In terms of competitions for the rest of the season, Joe said he would love to compete at the Sainsbury’s Glasgow Grand Prix as well as the European Team Championships in Germany ahead of the Commonwealth Games, which would of course mean competing against some of Europe’s best throwers, an incredible experience for any young, up-and-coming athlete.
We wish Joe the best of luck for the rest of the season (and exam season!) and hope he continues to demonstrate his consistency throughout the summer.