College shot put champion breaks record

18th February 2020

A young athlete from Stratford-upon-Avon is emerging as a rising star on the athletics circuit, having broken the British under-20 record in the shot put.

Lewis Byng, who studies Sport at Stratford-upon-Avon College, broke the record on 1st February while competing at Loughborough University, throwing 19 metres 18 centimetres.

Lewis, aged 18, will now focus his training on securing a place on Team GB for the World Under-20 Championships in Nairobi this July.

Explaining the requirements for the Team GB spot, Lewis commented “My throw is currently 10 centimetres off the distance required to make it onto the team. But I’m confident I can improve and meet the necessary standard by the time the team is announced in June.”

Sport student Lewsi Byng holding a shot put
Stratford-upon-Avon College Sport student and record-breaking shot put competitor Lewis Byng

Lewis’ commitment to athletics began at an early age and he was ranked 1st in the UK in his age category for the 100m sprint when he was 10 years old. Following a recovery from injury aged 12, he transitioned into the throwing events and started competing seriously in 2017, attending the national athletics championships for the first time and finishing in second place.

Since then, Lewis has gone from strength to strength: last year he became under-20 and under-23 UK champion, and placed 8th in the final of the European Under-20 Championships.

Lewis, who trains in the gym four days a week and practices throwing three times a week, explained the enjoyment he receives from athletics. “Shot put training is actually really fun and the competitions give you a buzz and adrenalin rush.

“Breaking a record or achieving a new personal best is obviously a great feeling and competing in international competitions makes me particularly proud.”

When he finishes his Sport course at the College, Lewis hopes to continue his studies at Loughborough University, specialising in Sports Science and Coaching. “Shot-putters usually peak physically around the age of 30 so it’s possible to have quite a long career. But as an athlete, it’s always important to have a plan for after you retire from competition.

“Eventually, I’d like to work as a personal trainer or a strength and conditioning coach to help the next generation of athletes.”

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