Athlete destined for Olympics

Athlete destined for Olympics

11 February 2016

Ryan Ballantyne returned from Christchurch on Tuesday morning after competing at The Big Shot, an international shot put meet in Christchurch on Monday, where he placed fourth in the open men’s division.

This was Ballantyne’s first international meet and first open men’s event. The 17-year-old has been picked as the one to watch, with a great possibility of the young athlete competing at the Commonwealth Games and Olympics in the not too distant future.

Ballantyne’s throw of 16.05m compares favourably with that of Commonwealth Games silver medallist Tom Walsh who threw 15.76m at an international meet at the same age. Walsh will this year compete at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Ballantyne was up against some tough competition at The Big Shot including New Zealander and Junior World Champion Jacko Gill. Gill threw a personal best of 20.83m, which comfortably qualified him for the World Indoor Championships next month as well as the 2016 Rio Olympics in August.

Right there with him was Australian champion Damien Birkinhead who also threw a personal best and a 2016 Rio Olympic qualifier.