Tokyo Paralympics: Dan Greaves eyes sixth medal in discus 'art form'

Dan Greaves
Dan Greaves has won 13 major medals during his discus career

Discus thrower Dan Greaves has his sights firmly set on making history at the Tokyo Paralympics in a sport he regards as an "art form".

Just two years on from an injury which could have led to his retirement, he hopes to become the first GB athlete to win a medal at six successive Games.

He already has a gold, two silvers and two bronzes from previous Paralympics.

"Competition should be the easy part. The hard bit is training," the 38-year-old told BBC Radio Leicester.

"Competition should be enjoyable, you shouldn't fear it and that's been kind of my mantra throughout my career."

It was in 2019 that he suffered an "excruciating" bone bruise at the top of his leg, near the hip, and had to miss the Para-athletics World Championships.

"I think I was pretty close to retiring because the consultant said I had to take six months of rest, which for an athlete is torture," said Greaves, from Loughborough.

"He said 'If you don't look after yourself now and calm things down, try and find a better way of training around it, then the bruising could spread and fractures could potentially occur. You might be looking at a hip replacement in the future'."

line

Greaves' medal haul

Paralympics: Gold (Athens 2004), Silver (Sydney 2000, London 2012), Bronze (2008 Beijing, 2016 Rio)

World Championships: Gold (2011), Bronze (2002, 2006, 2013)

European Championships: Bronze (2014, 2016, 2018)

Commonwealth Games: Gold (Glasgow 2014)

line

It was back at Sydney 2000 that Greaves burst onto the Paralympics scene by taking silver in the F44 discus event, but his greatest achievement came in Athens four years later when he went one better and won gold.

"My first trip to Sydney was a real eye-opener and a massive experience, and kind of the turning point for Paralympic sport when the public really recognised disabled athletes as elite sportspeople, which we knew we were anyway," he said.

"I've just tried to stay true to myself and give myself the best opportunities. I'm a really competitive person but I'm not too much of a sore loser.

"If you'd told me back in Sydney that I'd go to six Paralympics I'd have probably laughed at you."

Greaves leaves nothing to chance in terms of preparation and has been practising his throwing in the UK at 11.30am, which would be 7.30pm in Tokyo, the time of his F64 discus competition.

And he is now ready to try and find that perfect "balance between power and rhythm" which characterises the best in the discipline.

"From my perspective, throwing the discus is like an art form," he explained.

"It's almost like dance and it's quite theatrical, you have to find a rhythm, you have to stay inside the two-and-a-half-metre circle while expelling as much power and speed as possible, but you still have to be quite fluid and light on your feet.

"I did an interview recently and we spoke about Discobolus, the Greek sculpture, and how it all started. It's great to look at the whole history of the Olympic cycle and discus being prominent in those Games.

"Hopefully, fingers crossed I can bag medal number six and I'll be very happy."

Top Stories

Elsewhere on the BBC

Also in Sport

Featured