OLYMPICS LONDON 2012: Smith gets itchy feet and seeks glory
BRITISH hammer thrower Alex Smith admits he was getting itchy fingers in the Olympic Village after a quick weekend trip to Birmingham ended with gold at the UKA McCain Jumps and Throws Fest on Sunday.
IN THE SWING OF IT: Alex Smith has excelled in Olympic year, reaching the hammer final at London 2012
Not content with reaching the London 2012 final after a throw of 74.71m in qualifying, 24-year-old Smith travelled to the Alexander Stadium to secure victory with a best effort of 74.21m.
Smith then made the quick dash back to Stratford to take part in the London 2012 closing ceremony in what has been a busy few weeks.
And as the curtain came down on the London 2012 Olympics, Smith, who won Commonwealth Games silver in 2010, believes his eyes have now been opened as to what he's capable of.
"I felt a bit lost after the Olympic final. Everything you've trained for is gone, but decided to come to Birmingham, and it paid off," said Smith - who ended the London 2012 final in 12th place.
"It was a good competition for me. I didn't know I was in that sort of form - I was predicting around 72m or 73m, because I hadn't trained much since last week - so I was really pleased with the result.
"The aim of the Olympics for me was just to make the final. I was so pleased I made it, but when it was over there was a bit of a comedown.
"It was just something to do. I had another ten days in the village, and there's not a lot to do apart from watching a few things.
"But the Olympic experience was brilliant. I don't think I'll ever do a competition like that again. The whole country just took it on board."
Smith is clearly someone who likes to keep busy and after a holiday to the Austrian mountains with his fiancée it's straight back to his day job as an electrician.
But Smith is convinced he can approach his winter's training with optimism, claiming London 2012 will not be the last time he is seen in a major final.
"I'm probably going to do one more competition, but I've got to get back to work," he added.
"They very kindly gave me four months off paid to prepare for and compete at the Olympics. It was a tough winter working full-time, but they've been really good with me.
"I'm going on holiday with my fiancée to Austria, to switch off in the mountains for a bit but this season has given me a lot of confidence.
"It's been a bit of a wake-up call actually, knowing this is how far I throw now. I had a few bad competitions at the start of the season which knocked my confidence a bit.
"Hopefully I can build on it and start getting some top eights and into more finals."
The McCain Challenge Competition - which covers Indoor, Outdoor track and field and Cross Country - is the country's premier domestic athletics series. Supported generously by UKA's Principal Partner McCain, the series provides top quality competition opportunities.
© Sportsbeat 2012