Rio 2016: Chris Bennett aims for hammer final after Olympic call

Chris Bennett is ranked 20th in the world
Bennett was added to Team GB last week

Scottish hammer thrower Chris Bennett has set his sights on the Olympic final, having thought his chance of reaching Rio had gone.

The 26-year-old set a personal best of 76.45m in June, short of the 77m qualifying mark set by British Athletics.

But the British champion received an invitation from the IAAF last week.

"I didn't think I was going," Bennett told BBC Scotland. "It's been a bit of a whirlwind."

Bennett, ranked 20th in the world, finished 10th at the European Championships earlier this month.

"I was in the unfortunate position of not reaching the qualifying standard set by British Athletics but the IAAF could invite me," he explained.

"I got the call on Tuesday and wasn't allowed to say anything until the Wednesday at three o'clock.

"So, I'm off to Rio in two weeks or so. I've still not got my kit - they're going to post it up to me.

"I'd like to think I can make the final. It's about bettering yourself against others, so what better place to do it?"

Chris Bennett finished 12th in the Commonwealth Games final
Bennett ended 12th in the Commonwealth Games final

Bennett endured a disappointing Commonwealth Games on home soil in 2014, finishing last in the final, falling well short of his qualifying distances.

"I was in really good shape but I let my emotions get the better of me," he recalled.

"I had a very tough 18 months. I lost my father in 2012 and lost my coach in 2013. People only see the results, they don't know what's going on in the lead-up.

"It was my first major competition and it's an experience that will never leave me.

"It was the best night of my life and it was also the worst because I didn't achieve what I'd set out to.

"I set myself high targets and when I don't make them I'm very harsh on myself. That's maybe pushed me on to get to the Europeans and Olympics.

Fellow Scot Mark Dry and British record holder Nick Miller also received IAAF invites last week.

"We now have three guys that can all potentially make the final in Rio and it's a massive opportunity to shine on the big stage," added Bennett.

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