ALL the practice has certainly paid off for Nicola Tuthill.
During lockdown earlier in the year, the 16-year from Baurleigh, in between Kilbrittain and Bandon, spent hours practicing the hammer throw at home on the family farm.
Early last year Nicola’s dad built a cage in a field with a circle for her to throw from – and all her hard work reaped rich rewards at the recent national senior championships in Dublin.
The talented Bandon AC athlete threw herself into national headlines when she smashed the Irish U18 hammer throw record to take senior gold and beat seasoned senior athletes.
Not only was Nicola’s monster throw of 60.04 a huge lifetime best but it was also the second furthest throw by an U18 in the world this year.
‘The throw felt good but I was shocked when I saw it went over 60 metres. I knew when I left go of it that it was a good throw but I didn’t think it would go far that!’ Nicola told The Southern Star.
‘Going to the senior championships I was hoping to get close to what I had thrown previously which was 58 metres so I was really happy when I broke the 60-metre mark.’
By breaking 60 metres she became only the sixth Irish woman ever to do so in the hammer, but she’s taking it all in her stride. Nicola was back in Santry last weekend for the national junior championships and, again, she was in top form to bring home another gold and round off the season in style, winning with 57.19m.
‘I trained hard throughout the lockdown. My coaches – Killian Barry, Kevin Warner and Roland Korom – were in constant contact with me with training and what to do, and that was a huge help,’ she explained, adding that her weekly schedule consists of four days of throwing and then two days of gym work.
Top of her class in the women’s hammer throw, the Coláiste na Toirbhrite student was back in school last week and an example to all that hard work has it rewards.