SCOTT LINCOLN cleared the Vienna arena as he set a lifetime best in the shot put.
Defending the title he won 12 months ago, the City of York Athletic Club strongman hurled a personal best of 18.69 metres in his England vest last weekend as he sent out a statement of intent ahead of the British Indoor Championships at the end of the month.
Lincoln's winning effort was so long, it bounced over the protective fence and rolled the length of the stadium.
It is a performance which has left the Brompton thrower and coach Paul Wilson dreaming of a possible run to Rio and the Olympic Games.
Split into two competitions, Lincoln threw 18.61m in the first event and then set his new mark in the second as he competed as part of a larger England Athletics team comprising of both experienced and developing athletes.
Wilson believes his charge can improve even further and he is hoping Lincoln will break the 19 metre barrier at the British champs, staged at the English Institute of Sport, in Sheffield, on February 27 and 28.
He said: "Technically, it wasn't perfect, which is even more positive. It is a metre further than he was throwing at this time last year and this really puts him in good stead in time for the British Indoor Championships. He has got a really good chance of going over 19m.
"With a couple of changes I think he can do it. The target now is to qualify for one of the major championships, whether that is the Europeans or Rio."
Asked whether the Olympics, which demands a qualification standard of 20.50m was a realistic target, Wilson added: "It is a hard target and a big ask. The achievable target is the Europeans but the Olympics are possible. It might be a year too early for him but if he catches it right, and gets the perfect throw, then anything can happen."
With nearest rival Zane Duquemin expected to concentrate on the discus this season, Lincoln's biggest opponent domestically this season is likely to be himself. But having crushed the opposition by three metres in Vienna, Wilson believes the desire to improve will prove motivation enough.
"We are trying to get competition abroad but his biggest problem is funding," he added. "Scott works full-time and he doesn't get the chances to do the training we would like. He won in Vienna and he still put up a personal best.
"I've said you have to compete against yourself and be in your own bubble. He knows what he needs to do and it is something we have worked on for a few years now. He knows how to psyche himself up and get the best throw out there. That will push him on."
Anyone who can help Lincoln with sponsorship is asked to email Wilson at email@example.com
Lincoln's training partner Henry Fairclough will throw for England at the Celtic Cup on Sunday in Wales. It is the 17-year-old's first international call up.
York speedster Becky Campsall also enjoyed a fairytale start to her England career. The 25-year-old donned the shirt for the first time when representing her country at an international indoor competition in Bratislava, Slovakia last weekend.
Campsall stormed to victory in her 60 metre contest and set a personal best of 7.45 seconds.