Scott Lincoln: How a York bricklayer qualified for Tokyo Olympics

Scott Lincoln was running out of time in his bid to qualify for the Olympics.

Shot putter Scott Lincoln: Qualified for the Olympics. Picture : Jonathan Gawthorpe
Shot putter Scott Lincoln: Qualified for the Olympics. Picture : Jonathan Gawthorpe

The 27-year-old shot putter from York who still works as a bricklayer, was down to his last four competitions to achieve the qualifying standard of 21m 10cms to make it to Tokyo when he entered the circle at a competition in Brno, Czech Republic, on Sunday.

A week earlier, he had thrown a new personal best of 20-81 in Stockholm. It was good, but still 29cm shy of where he needed to be as he took his place in Brno.

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“I threw the standard a couple of times in the warm-up, which obviously doesn’t count, but I knew I had it in me,” Lincoln tells The Yorkshire Post.

Shot putter Scott Lincoln, pictured at York Sport Centre, University of York (Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe)

“But that got me a bit over-excited in the first three rounds, I got a bit tense, so I had to calm myself down and have a word with myself. And then I nailed it.”

He certainly did. Years of hard work, of being the best in Britain by a fair distance and striving to make a dint on the international stage, of splitting his time practising and laying bricks, finally came to fruition.

“I knew when it left my hand it was a big,” said Lincoln, who hurled the shot 21-28. He only needed 21-10 for the Olympic standard.

“I saw it land, didn’t really twig that it was over the 21-metre line until I saw the tape being pulled through, and it was obviously a big one.

Tokyo bound - York shot putter Scott Lincoln ( Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe)

“It feels unbelievable, it’s something I’ve trained for all my life.

“I’ve been in shape all season but not quite getting it. A lot of it was just me trying too hard, putting pressure on myself mentally and changing things I didn’t really need to change, but I’ve been working with a psychologist to get that side of it sorted.

“So I knew that distance would come out, it felt like it was just a matter of time but obviously it’s important it did before the Olympic qualification deadline.

“I was getting a bit twitchy as it was getting closer to the deadline, but we’re here now, that’s the main thing.”

To officially seal his place on the Team GB athletics team for Tokyo, Lincoln must finish no lower than second at the British Championships at the end of this month.

Another slightly more famous athlete striving for Olympic qualification that weekend will be double Olympic 10,000m champion Mo Farah, who needs to beat the qualifying standard of 27:28.00 in an invitational 10k.