OLYMPIC HOPES: National throw champion Matthew Denny at training at O'Quinn St Oval in Toowoomba.
OLYMPIC HOPES: National throw champion Matthew Denny at training at O'Quinn St Oval in Toowoomba. Kevin Farmer

Olympic selection is a mere 23cm away for athlete from Allora

ATHLETICS: Matthew Denny doesn’t want to leave Olympic qualification to chance – his wants to throw 65m in discus to secure his position in the Australian team for the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in August.

The Allora thrower is currently ranked 28th in the world and 32 will compete in Rio.

If Denny doesn’t throw a qualifier, he could still be selected under the roll-back rule but that will depend on his ranking on July 12 and a decision of the Australian selectors.

He is one of six in the world to record best throws of 64–65m since July last year.

Although he leads the six, with 64.73m, he isn’t banking on holding his spot in the top 32 as the European season is about to start.

“I want a qualifier to make the team and have peace of mind to concentrate on preparations for Rio,” Denny said.

His next chance to qualify will be at Townsville in a fortnight, then there is a chance he could return to America for a competition on June 17–18 or compete in Europe.

Denny’s trip to America last month was funded partly by Athletics Australia but he will need sponsorship for more overseas trips in the quest for a qualifying distance.

“Funds are tight, I have already dug deep into my pockets this year with travelling from the start of the season. I am still discussing plans with coach Grahame Pitt,” he said.