Olympics: Mervyn Luckwell set to take centre stage in London

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MERVYN Luckwell is preparing for the biggest night of his life when he competes in the Olympic men’s javelin competition on Wednesday.

The 27-year-old from Milton Keynes booked his place at London 2012 by throwing 82.15m at the Loughborough International in May, but now faces a completely different challenge as he aims to upset the odds and book a place in the final at the Olympic Stadium.

Luckwell goes into the qualifying round with a personal best of 83.52 – set in September last year – and will probably need to throw something around that distance to just reach Saturday’s final.

The Olympic event is somewhat uncharted waters for the former Stantonbury Campus student whose only previous top level competition experience came in 2009 at the World Championships in Berlin.

That ended in disappointment, but since then Luckwell has got used to dominating almost every event he has entered. However, the Marshall Milton Keeynes AC man will not get it all his own way on Wednesday night as standing in his way are the likes of Vítezslav Vesely of the Czech Republic who holds the world lead throw of 88.11m this year.

Also competing will be Norway’s Andreas Thorkildsen – the two-time champion who set a new Olympic record of 90.57m when he last won gold in Beijing four years ago.

Thorkildsen’s main competitor is likely to be Germany’s Matthias de Zordo who won the 2011 World Championship, but for Luckwell just reaching the final will be a great achievement, and anything else is a bonus.