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Dan Greaves determined to seize his opportunity

Dan Greaves determined to seize his opportunity
© Getty Images
The 38-year-old discus thrower won medals in Sydney, Athens, Beijing, London and Rio.

Discus champion Dan Greaves says the prospect of becoming the first Briton to win a medal at six successive Paralympic Games in athletics is fuelling his motivation for Tokyo.

Greaves shares the current record of five with wheelchair racer Tanni Grey-Thompson, having stood on the podium in Sydney, Athens, Beijing, London and Rio.

The 38-year-old, who was named in Great Britain's squad on Wednesday, may well have missed the Games through injury had they not been pushed back a year and is determined to seize his shot at making history.

"Had you told me back in Sydney in 2000 when I was 18 that I'd go on to be competing 21 years later at my sixth Paralympics, I probably would have laughed in your face," he told the PA news agency.

"To set a record – if I could come away with a medal – would be absolutely fantastic and it's those kind of things that motivate me.

"It's huge motivation and when I saw it, it really gave me a lift. We all strive for the bling around the neck and to get onto the podium."

Greaves initially ruled himself out of competing in Japan in the immediate aftermath of winning bronze at Rio 2016.

A personal best and European record of 63.01m in 2018 helped convince him to reverse that hasty announcement, before the emergence of a painful hip problem the following year almost took the decision out of his hands.

He has subsequently altered his approach to the sport in order to protect his physical health, while he believes a change of coach has been the catalyst for reaching peak condition from a technical perspective.

"My hips play a huge part in my throw and I couldn't do that for a good six, seven months," said Greaves, whose sole Paralympic gold to date came in 2004 in Athens.

"In hindsight it's a good thing the Paralympics got pushed back because I only started throwing in January 2020 and I think it would have been too soon to put in a performance that I know I'm worthy of.

Great Britain's Dan Greaves won silver at London 2012
Great Britain's Dan Greaves won silver at London 2012 (David Davies/PA)

"We've had to really look at my posture and been doing lots of yoga. Sometimes you have to calm things down and admit I'm 38, I can't do something I was doing when I was 25, 26.

"It has actually changed my outlook on how to perform. It's just not sustainable and I want to be able to play with my kids in the future and go to the football and not have a bad back or a bad hip."

On switching coaches to fellow British thrower Zane Duquemin, he added: "I've been in the sport for 21 years and I didn't think I could learn much more about discus but this past 18 months I've been with him I've learnt loads more and feel like I'm probably the best technically I've ever been."

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Jonnie Peacock pictured in July 2017
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Olympic medal table header
CountryGold medalSilver MedalBronze MedalT
United StatesUnited States17171347
Olympics flagOlympic Athletes from Russia11151137
Great BritainGreat Britain891128
Today's Olympic highlights header

Sunday's key events

· The men's golf reaches its conclusion, with plenty of players still in medal contention. Home favourite Hideki Matsuyama is one shot off Xander Schauffele's lead, while Great Britain's Paul Casey is another shot further back and Tommy Fleetwood is also in the mix (11.30pm-8am)

· Great Britain have already made history in the BMX events in Tokyo, something Charlotte Worthington and Declan Brooks will be looking to add to in the women's (2.10am) and men's (3.10am) freestyle finals

· The final day of swimming action begins with the men's 50m freestyle final. Ben Proud could add to a medal-laden Games in the pool for Team GB so far, although he is up against USA's Caeleb Dressel, who is going for his fourth gold in Tokyo (2.30am)
· From sprint to endurance, Great Britain's second medal hope of the day comes through Daniel Jervis in the men's 1500m freestyle final (2.44am)
· Team GB will again be among the heavy favourites for gold in the last swimming event of the Games - the men's 4x100m medley relay final - having won the mixed event in a world record time on Saturday (3.36am)

· Already guaranteed at least a bronze, Pat McCormack takes part in the men's welterweight semi-final against Ireland's Aidan Walsh with a spot in the gold medal final at stake (4.03am)
· Ben Whittaker is also in the semi-finals of the men's light heavyweight and will be looking to continue Team GB's success in the ring (4.51am)

· There will be a surprise on the top of the men's tennis podium after Novak Djokovic missed out on a medal altogether. Alexander Zverev takes on Karen Khachanov in the second match on Centre Court at the Ariake Tennis Park (7am-2pm)

· Alison Young will be going for gold in the women's laser radial medal race (7.33am)

· Team GB's Max Whitlock will look to defend his 2016 Olympic title in the men's pommel horse final (10.41am)

· The men's high jump final includes GB's Tom Gale, although his chances of a medal look bleak (11.10am)
· So often the blue-riband event of the Olympics, the men's 100m final takes place as the world's fastest bid to be crowned Usain Bolt's successor. Three Brits have made it into the semi-finals (11.15am-11.32am), and the final looks wide open after an underwhelming display by favourite Trayvon Bromell on Saturday (1.50pm)

· Great Britain face India in the men's quarter-final (1pm)

> Today's schedule in full
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