Hammer thrower Bedford targets World Championships
HAMMER thrower James Bedford admits he has his sights set on joining the world's best in 12 months' time as the curtain starts to come down on his best season to date.
The 23-year-old was in Birmingham on Saturday for one of his last outings of 2012 - finishing third at the UKA McCain Jumps and Throws Fest at the Alexander Stadium.
Bedford threw a best of 67.94m to rank third behind Alex Smith, who finished 12th at the Olympics in London, and Mark Dry, who pushed him close for a place at the Games.
Bedford was a fair distance off joining Smith and Dry in fighting for London 2012 selection but he has enjoyed a fine year, throwing beyond 70m for the first time ever.
He also took victory at the England Closed Championships in June and is vowing to do all he can to fulfil the qualifying criteria for next summer's World Championships in Moscow.
"My season on the whole has been good. I won the England Closed Championships and I have had a few throws over 70m this year, so I am fairly happy with that," said Bedford.
"Technically I was OK at the Throws Fest. I am getting a bit tired now because it is the end of the season, but that is to be expected.
"The conditions weren't ideal, but generally we are used to training in that sort of environment, so it doesn't make that much of a difference. It's just British weather, isn't it?
"Everything was quite crammed in for a while, but since July I have had a bit more time in between competitions, which is good.
"Next season I am aiming to get as close to the qualifying standard for the World Championships as I can. If I can do that, I will be a happy man."
Bedford finished behind both Smith and Dry at the Olympic trials this year and is currently fifth in the British rankings with a personal best throw of 70.68m.
And, while admitting to feeling the effects of a season that has seen him compete 14 times and finish no lower than third, Bedford wants to bow out on 2012 by bettering his personal best.
"I have got a British League meeting left now, and maybe one more competition after that before the end of the season," he added.
"Of course I would like to get close to my personal best again, but we will just have to wait and see what happens."
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.