WINNING a medal in the Olympic Stadium would be enough for most teenage athletes, but city discus thrower Lewis Barnes insists he is just getting started.
The 16-year-old was strutting his stuff at the London 2012 venue before the world’s best athletes descend on the capital later this summer as he competed in the School Games against the best of British.
And the Stantonbury Campus pupil did not disappoint on the big stage – his best effort of 43.22m good enough to secure him the third step of the podium.
His bronze medal winning throw came in his first attempt as the rain fell on the competitors, but with it being more than a metre off his own personal best, Barnes is adamant that the best is yet to come.
“Winning the bronze medal is great and it was about as well as I had trained for, so I’m pleased to have hit my target,” he said.
“I hoped to get on the podium heading into the competition and I did just that and that’s good enough for me, especially since it was in the Olympic Stadium.
“It was wet out there, but then it was just brilliant being in the London 2012 stadium and it gets you motivated for the rest of the season.
“There is more to come though. I don’t want to rest on my laurels at all. This is a good season opener and a good start, but there is more to come.
“The English Schools at the end of June in Gateshead is the next big one for me and hopefully I can throw further and hopefully end up with a different colour medal.”
Barnes is currently ranked second in the country in his U17 age group, but like most young athletes, he and his family struggle with the financial requirements connected with the sport.
Mum Samantha says she is desperate to send him off to other top competitions, but that might not be possible. She’s hoping for a sponsor to come forward and help them out, so anyone wishing to do so can get in touch with this newspaper.
>> Barnes wasn’t the only Milton Keynes athlete to set the School Games alight last week, as Renzoku Judo Club’s Jodie Caller earned 52kg silver at the ExCeL – another 2012 venue – and Ben Chapman won gold in the boys’ road race at Redbridge Cycling Club.