2022 Commonwealth Games: Lawrence Okoye wins discus silver 


England’s Lawrence Okoye, who left athletics for American Football after London 2012, won his first senior medal with Commonwealth discus silver.

30 year old Okoye, returned to discus in 2019 after his NFL career ran out of steam.

He failed to make the final at last year’s Tokyo Olympics or the 2022 World Championships, but a 64.99m throw took him to the podium behind Australia’s Matthew Denny in Birmingham.

Okoye was one of the stars of London 2012, reaching the Olympic final and finishing the year with the fifth-furthest throw of the season.

However, the 20-year-old had other options. Instead of pursuing athletics, top-flight rugby union or a law degree at Oxford University, he signed a deal with NFL team the San Francisco 49ers.

He was traded to the Arizona Cardinals, New York Jets, Dallas Cowboys and Miami Dolphins, without ever making an appearance in a competitive game, before making his comeback to athletics.

Okoye told BBC Sport “It’s a massive breakthrough for me. I have doubted myself quite a bit so to do this means a lot,” said Okoye.

“Since I’ve come back, I’ve thrown massive in training and warm-ups but haven’t quite got it together in competitions.

“Today was a great step forward and hopefully in the Europeans, and moving forward to Paris, I can really unlock my potential.”

Okoye’s personal best remains a 68.24m effort from May 2012, and he has previously said he believes he can throw over 70m, a distance that would have won gold at the Tokyo Olympics as well as in Birmingham.


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