Snapped brace doesn't deny Davies a second European title in Berlin

Aled Davies did Britain and Wales proud in Berlin. Pic: Ben Booth Photography

Not even a broken leg brace could stop Aled Davies becoming a double World Para Athletics European champion but the Welshman knows he still has plenty more to give in the field.

The Cardiff thrower added the F63 shot put title to his discus gold medal from earlier in the week, a Championship record throw of 15.49 metres helping him to the top of the podium.

But that only tells half the story of what has been a bizarre week for Davies – with a technical malfunction almost costing him dearly after just two throws of the competition.

Thankfully his emergency tape was put to good use and his event could continue, not before ripping up the book and starting again on a new technique in Berlin.

“When my leg brace snapped I thought ‘you have got to be kidding me?,” he explained.

“I was kind of panic stations – we joke about contingency plans if that happens because it has happened eight times this year, but it had never happened before then in my career.

“It snapped early on so I hadn’t quite won yet and I had to keep battling on, hopping around. I gave it everything I had, it was just raw aggression that got through in the end. It’s a very tough day in the office.

“I don’t have the muscle ligaments in my leg needed so the brace helps replace them, it gives me the power I need so is a big part of my success.

“The steel snapped so I had to spend 20 minutes trying to get some kind of support from it – I couldn’t find the balance so I really had to dig deep in there, luckily I held on.”

Two European gold medals and two Championship records from his pair of events would usually signal a job well done for Davies.

But the Welshman knows both his discus and shot efforts are just a fraction of his capabilities, performances he is looking to rectify for next year’s World Championships.

He wasn’t even certain to be coming to Berlin after a rollercoaster year but the 27-year-old feels it was a worthwhile decision – even with all the difficulties.

“If you listed down everything that could go down in four years, they all happened in the space of six months,” added Davies, who was born was born with hemimelia of the right leg.

“This year has definitely been tough but I didn’t want to just hand over the titles, I wanted to come here and give everything I have got and that’s what I did.

“It has taken a lot, it’s probably two of the hardest golds I have ever had to fight for.”

British Athletics works alongside UK Sport and the National Lottery to support the delivery of success at the world’s most significant sporting events, principally the Olympic and Paralympic Games. They do this via the funded initiative, the World Class Programme, one part of the British Athletics pathway.