HIGH HOPES: Matthew Denny, of Queensland, competes in the men's open hammer throw final at last year's nationals in Sydney and will compete in this year's nationals at the Gold Coast next month.
HIGH HOPES: Matthew Denny, of Queensland, competes in the men's open hammer throw final at last year's nationals in Sydney and will compete in this year's nationals at the Gold Coast next month. Jason McCawley

Denny eyes off games at the Gold Coast in April

ATHLETICS: Allora thrower Matthew Denny has A qualifiers for the Commonwealth Games but is leaving nothing to chance - he wants to win national discus and hammer titles next month to secure his spot in the team for the Gold Coast in April.

Denny wasn't happy with his progress in the first quarter of last year and made the decision to bypass attempting to qualify for the London world championships to concentrate on the April 2018 Commonwealth Games at the Gold Coast.

His form was good enough last year to throw A qualifiers for the Gold Coast Games, 73.37m in hammer and 63.13m in discus. In 2016, he threw more than 65m in discus to make the team for the Rio Olympics where he finished 19th.

While he has games qualifiers, Denny said it would all come down to form at the trials at the games stadium at the Gold Coast in mid February.

"If I win at the nationals, it shouldn't be a problem to be selected,” he said.

Three athletes have A games qualifiers in discus and one has a B qualifier while Denny is the only Australian thrower at present with an A qualifier in hammer. Two have B qualifiers in hammer.

Denny said he was happy with his form in training.

"But you have to throw well in competition,” he said.

"The nerves are starting to kick in a bit.”

Last year, Denny moved from Allora to Toowoomba to train and has now moved to Brisbane.

Grahame Pitt is still his coach but Denny has a team of support staff, a sports psychologist, strength and conditioning coach and physiotherapist helping him prepare for the nationals.

He and Pitt have come up with a training program he follows in Brisbane but he returns to the Downs each Sunday to train under his Toowoomba-based coach at the O'Quinn St Oval or on the throwing ring at the family property at Allora.