By Dominique Tassell
Matthew Denny, the 25-year-old Allora local and two-time Olympian, has fallen five centimetres short of earning a medal at the discus finals tonight but earned a personal best.
Matt finished up the finals in fourth place with a throw of 67.02m.
He threw 65.76 on his first throw and stood out as an early frontrunner.
He was knocked down the ranking by Austria’s Lukas Weisshaidinger and Sweden’s Simon Pettersson and Daniel Ståhl in the second attempt.
Matt’s second attempt was a 65.53m throw, followed by a throw of 65.94 on his third attempt.
A whopping six of the twelve Olympians threw no-throws on the third attempt.
Matt needed to stay in the top eight to progress to the next round, and sat at fourth place going into it.
He threw a fourth attempt of 65m, and was knocked down to fifth place by Slovenia’s Kristjan Čeh.
He finally broke 65m on his fifth throw, achieving a throw of 66.06m.
Matt threw a final throw of 67.02m, achieving a personal best and climbing back up to fourth place.
Sweden won gold and silver medals, while Austria secured bronze.
Matt qualified for the finals yesterday after a throw of 65.13m, which at the time was the longest throw ever by an Australian at the Olympics.
This comes after a tough training period leading up to the Olympics, after Matt suffered a serious rib injury in October last year that set him back a few months.
Olympic trials were a chance to see how the team was progressing, and Matt said he was happy with how his body adapted after his injuries, and with how his team adjusted throughout the process.
After qualifying to go to Tokyo in June, Matt said it was “good to get it all confirmed”.
The Tokyo experience hasn’t been without bumps in the road, as the entire athletics team was forced to go into lockdown for two hours on Thursday 29 July after a member of the American athletics team tested positive to Covid-19.
It was later confirmed by the Australian Olympic Committee that three athletes had reported fleeting contact with the American athlete, and that they had undergone testing and returned negative results.
The other athletes on the team were cleared to return to their regular routines.
Matt has a huge amount of support behind him, both from his hometown of Allora and in Brisbane.
His friends were undoubtedly watching tonight from Brisbane, after Matt said they had organised a “viewing party” months ago to support him.
Matt says he hopes to inspire younger kids, and wants them to know they can achieve these things when they’re from a small town.
Matt says he’s been asked if this is it, but confirms he’s not slowing down anytime soon. He wants to make five Olympics, so there’s plenty more to come from him yet.