Alastair Aitken
Alastair Aitken
Alastair Aitken's
Interviews and

British M45 javelin record holder Roald Bradstock

ROALD BRADSTOCK at 48, followed up his eighth place in the Javelin at the European Trials & UK Championships, at Birmingham with 65.17 by going on to  win in the M45 Javelin in the British Masters Championships at Cardiff International Stadium, on the 3rd of July. On each of his throws he easily bettered the Championship Best of 55.47
(60.59; 60.31;63.78, 64.92; 63.92; and 61.62). The wind was very strong and blustery when he threw, with all the '35 to 50's " I had not thrown in training for a couple of weeks because I was nursing a few little injuries. My focus is all on next year and I am going home on Thursday to the USA to start my preparation.' At Cardiff he experimented with the wind as he said 'The javelin is an aerodynamic implement where as, a discus thrower knows exactly where the wind is. Many javelin throwers have not got a clue about that. They go out the middle where the wind is the same every time. I am changing height, changing distance and changing angles. It was the first time I have done 'Masters' so doing the best I could on the day. I was having fun, playing around with the wind. In training I would do that rather than in competition where I was under pressure. You can change your approach by about 30 or 40 degrees' He added ' I have thrown so often I can do that in my sleep' He continued ' My goal is to smash the M50 World record of 71.01 with a 700 gram javelin. The way I throw I could do that. My javelin throwing looks very technical but it is very simple. A lot of spin round the rotation. What I look for is a strong cross wind.'
   Roald Bardstock pointed out ' My aim is to do my eighth Olympic trial in the UK (He did do three US Olympic Trials in his time). At the UK trials  I would be one step away. Who knows what happens there so, my main goal is to make the 2012 Olympic Trials, on my home turf Broxbourne where I am from. A nice end to my career and come a full circle. That was why I went to the States to see the Olympics and for my ART.
   Regarding his Art and what he does in that direction he replied 'You name it!  I am using paintings or traditional mediums or videos'  He has been doing that in workshops and Sporting Colleges'
   He is dubbed 'The Olympic Picasso' In 2003 he won the prestigious International Sports artist of the Year award. His art is exhibited in the International Olympic Museum in Lausanne as part of the cultural activitivities that lead up to the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games.
   Perhaps the most astonishing thing of all is how he came to do athletics at all. First of all he was born on he 24th of April 1962 in Hertford Heath, Herefordshire and his mother is Norwegian.
               ' In 1968 as a six year old in the year I was diagnosed with spina bifida and, they told me from x-rays that they did not know why I could walk. I was not to play sport so, I  could not play rugby. It was at that time I watched the Mexico Olympics on a black & White TV in my parents kitchen. I got the excitement from that and, get goose pimples just thinking about it still. That was what I wanted  to be a javelin thrower' (The 1968 Olympic javelin was won by Latvian Janis Lusis with 94.58).
   Who then did Roald Bardstock admire as a  great javelin thrower and he was emphatic about that.
   'Niklos Nemeth (1976 Olympic Champion with a WR of 94.58) The way I throw is based on his technique, that rotation. I knew that I had a weak back so I had to come up with something technically where I could lengthen my form in order to throw further to reduce the strain on my back. I looked at him and, always knew that, if I stay healthy it should allow me to have a very long career and, I am still here.' he then commented ' The Mystery of the Javelin Community. I have a short approach, old, balding and wearing colourful outfits!'
   He said the first year he felt he had broken through ' It was in 1978 at club meets. At Hastings I threw 66 metres and then 72.72 at the Southern Counties thirty years ago.'
   Coming forward to this year he threw, almost the same distance of  71.22 for a British Masters M45 record, on April the 17th in Athens Georgia, USA.
   In 1984 he was 7th in the Olympic Final with 81.22 and he was in the Seoul Olympics in 1988 where he threw 75.96.
   Back in 1985 he had his furthest ever mark of 91.40 which he did  on May the 3rd in Texas then, on the 27th of July ' 85 he won the javelin competition in the Bislet Games in Oslo with 90.58.
What did he consider his greatest performance ' My best competition was Bislet 25 years ago."

Alastair Aitken

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