CLOCK REPRESENTS AUSTRALIA AT OCEANIA ATHLETICS CHAMPIONSHIPS
Ex Western Magpies dual premiership player Matt "Clock" Thompson has taken up the javelin as a Paralympic Sport and represented Australia at the Oceania Athletics Championships in Suva, Fiji in July
Thompson was born with his right arm absent below the elbow. He was canvassed early in the year by Paralympic officials in Canberra where he is working as a doctor at the Canberra Hospital.
After some thought he decided to give it a crack and javelin was thought to be his best fit.
He has been training at the AIS under coach Hamish McDonald, who won gold in shot put at the Atlanta Paralympics in 1996.
He has improved markedly with a best throw of 40 metres, still a way off the world record of 60 metres. He has gone from 25 metres to 40 metres in about 4 months.
He was fourth in Suva in a multi-class event but he was the only athlete in the amputee class and places were decided on what percentage of the world record in their class an athlete threw in the competition.
He says it is an improvement in technique that has made the difference and he has had to basically unlearn his cricket bowling action, which gained him over 50 wickets in a season twice in Brisbane sub-district A Grade competition.
Javelin technique is totally different to bowling and as this improves he should continue to throw further and further.
Originally the Tokyo Olympics was the aim but his improvement is such that the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games is now not out of question.
In the meantime he is still playing footy for the powerful Ainslie club in Canberra where he made his Seniot debut this year alongside former Mt Gravatt & Brisbane Lions player Will Hamill, who is now working in Canberra.
Last year he played Reserves and won Ainslie's Best and Fairest in an undefeated premiership season.
Over the weekend, he kicked 4 goals in the Grand Final to secure back to back Premierships alongside Andrew (also a former Sherwood junior and Magpies Under 18 player) who also took home the league goalkicking award.
At the moment football and the javelin can co-exist but the time may be drawing close when the footy may have to give way to the dream of representing Australia at the Paralympics.