Parasports World Athlete Spotlight: Ming Davis
Updated: Jun 11, 2019
NAME: MING DAVIS
PARA-SPORT: JAVELIN F46
RECORD: Track & Field All- American, All-American Record Holder for F46 Javelin
So, how's training?
It’s going well, I’ve got a new weight vest and I’m just trying to make all the progress I can to be ready for when the warmer months come and I can get out throwing regularly.
I’m a self-taught Javelin thrower so I’ve been working pretty hard on my technique in the winter months.
You’re self-taught? How does that work in Javelin?
Yeah, I don’t have a regular coach so I’ve kind of had to pick up the technique myself. I watch YouTube quite a lot to get the technique from the top Olympic and Paralympic throwers, mainly the Norwegian and Dutch athletes.
You’ve probably heard of Julius Yego, the Kenyan athlete who won the World Championships and Olympic Silver after teaching himself to throw Javelin from YouTube videos, I guess I’m the Para-version of him! I get help from U.S Paralympics and their coaching staff, which has been great but I’m always looking to improve myself, you learn something new every day.
How did you come to Para-Sport in the first place?
I didn’t start in Para-Sport. I’ve always played basketball, and I still do now. I tried soccer but to be honest I didn’t like it much. Then one day when I was about 14 my mum took me to a Track and Field event and entered me into two running events and one throwing event.
I had no idea what to do in the running and stopped one of the coaches for some advice; he said “run as fast as you can”. During that event I came third in the Javelin, against able bodied kids and that’s when I started to love the sport.
What does Javelin mean to you?
It means everything to me. When I’m throwing I feel like there’s nothing to worry about. I often think back to its origins, people hunting and going to battle with spears and view myself as a warrior. I really don’t know what my life would be like without Javelin, it’s given me so much, especially introducing me the to the Paralympic community.
F46 (the Javelin category Ming competes in) is extremely competitive at the moment, what are your aims in 2018?
Well, all good javelin throwers have to retire sometime, right?! I’ve been selected for the IWAS Youth World Games in Ireland which I’m really proud of. I’ll be focusing on putting in a good performance there and also I’ve got time on my side. I’m only 18 and although there’s some guys at the top of the F46 category putting in some monster throws they’re quite a bit older than me, so I have time to improve.
The cut off for the London 2017 World Athletics Championships were 39.00 metres and you’d thrown that, how did it feel not to be selected for Team USA?
Really disappointing. The way system in the USA works is that athletes with the highest chance of medalling make the team, and although I’d thrown the qualification distance my chances of medalling were considered to be low. But I was able to get over it pretty quickly, it motivates me and keeps me going and I use it to prepare myself for events.
What’s your best Javelin moment so far?
It has to be setting the All-American Record for F46. I was competing against able bodied competitors in the AAU National Club Championships, when I’d thrown I had no idea how good it was. I couldn’t believe it when they told me I’d broken the record, it was such a great feeling.
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