Former NFL star wins bronze medal for Team GB at European Athletics Championship

Former NFL star Lawrence Okoye won bronze for Team GB at the European Championships in the discus and the 30-year-old has one eye on medalling at the 2024 Olympics in Paris.

Okoye competed in the 2012 London Olympics, but finished a disappointing 12th and decided to pursue an NFL career the following year despite never having played the sport at school or in university.

He ended up being signed by the San Francisco 49ers as a defensive lineman and had a journeyman career, also spending time with the Arizona Cardinals, New York Jets, Dallas Cowboys, Chicago Bears and Miami Dolphins.

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Okoye returned to the discus in 2019 at the Anniversary Games and is now enjoying an excellent year, having won a silver medal at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham and now a bronze at the European Championships in Munich.

In winning bronze, Okoye became the first British man to ever win a discus medal at the European Championships and the feat saw him reduced to tears.

"It's been a tough year for me in a lot of ways and to do what I did today just meant the world to me," Okoye told BBC Sport. "It's not really something I can describe.

"To medal in this field after some of the things I've been experiencing just means the world to me, I couldn't really hold it back. I think the Commonwealths showed me whats possible and it opened my eyes to a whole new world.

"Being on that podium… there's no feeling like it and I just wanted to get back there again. I said back then it would be a breakthrough moment for me and it looks like it has been.

"We've got the Worlds next year and Olympics the following year so I've got to really kick on because the standard in this field is ridiculous. If I want to be a medallist in Budapest and in Paris, I've got to step my game up again."


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