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Dartford sports all rounder up for new challenge
3:58pm Tuesday 18th September 2012 in Sport
By Nate Saunders
DARTFORD’S Scott Rider admits he is ready to turn his back on his shot put career after a frustrating year which saw him fall short of representing Britain at London 2012.
The 34-year-old, who competed for Britain in bobsleigh at the 2002 winter Olympics, failed to record a distance good enough this year to reach the 2012 summer Games.
Rider’s season best of 18.43m, set on the way to victory at the McCain City Challenge in March, was over 1.50m shy of the London 2012 B standard which Carl Myerscough secured.
Myerscough went on to compete at the Games but there was still some celebration for Rider who retained his McCain Challenge Series title, Britain’s premier domestic athletics series.
However, motivation for Rider is at a low ebb with winter on the horizon, a time of year he will use to assess his future options as opposed to rushing into a decision now.
“It’s a tough one for me at the moment because I’m not sure whether I’m going to continue,” said Rider.
“I’m sort of toying with the idea of packing it all in, I’m 35 and I haven’t really improved as much as I wanted recently.
“In the British league events I don’t really have much competition, but I just can’t beat Carl and I can’t really keep kidding myself.
“There’s only a certain amount of improvements I can make at this point so I need to be realistic.
“Certainly I’m not going to get better at this age, at least not drastically.
“I could still focus on some indoor competitions but if I’m honest with myself the shot putting has hit a brick wall.”
While his athletics career appears to be dwindling, Rider has been given a new lease of life by participating in the Highland Games, a love-affair now stretching back eight years.
He took victory at the renowned Braemar Gathering in Scotland this month, a meeting so steeped in tradition he took victory in front of the Queen herself.
“I really enjoy competing at the Highland Games,” added Rider.
“It was pretty special competing there in front of the Queen, there’s a great level of competition and it’s a superb event to take part in.
“I think that’s where I see myself competing for the foreseeable future, obviously it involves revisiting the shot put a bit but there’s also focus on other stuff so it’s a bit more of an all-rounder event.”
The McCain UK Challenge is a nationwide, season long competition comprising a series of events from mid May until August for Britain’s top club athletes and aspiring internationals vying for a share in a £30,000 prize fund.
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