CITY of York Athletic Club shot-putter Scott Lincoln has one foot on the plane to the Tokyo Olympics.

On Sunday, Lincoln topped the Olympics qualification distance of 21.1 metres with a throw of 21.28m at a competition in the Czech city of Brno.

All that is left to do now to secure his place at the 2020 Olympics is come in the top two of the British Championships at the end of this month - a competition he has won for the last six years.

“I’m absolutely chuffed. It’s something I’ve worked all my career for,” he said.

“I knew I had it in me. It was just a matter of doing it before the deadline ran out.

“There have been times where I’ve thought, ‘I’m probably not going to make it’.

“But it’s happened - we’re there.”

Lincoln’s competition throws have been consistently around the 20m mark this year but this is the first time he has cracked the 21m barrier with a recorded throw.

The key, Lincoln revealed, was getting into a relaxed headspace.

And his reward is not just Olympics qualification but also getting his name among the all-time top British shot-putters. He is now third in the ranking of British men’s shot-putters.

“I knew I was in shape,” he commented. “My training throws have been going further than my competition throws, which is bizarre for me. Normally it’s the other way round.

“I was going in to competitions and just getting tense, thinking, ‘Qualify, qualify, qualify’, and when you get tense, you don’t throw as far.

“I was really frustrated with all the comps because I knew there was more there.”

It was on his fourth throw of six that Lincoln finally cracked it at the Memorial Josefa Seckare competition in Brno, where he finished second, pipped to top spot by a single centimetre by Romanian Andrei Toader.

“I did some nice warm-up throws and knew I was pretty much nailed on for it,” Lincoln said of the competition.

“It was just a matter of calming myself down after the warm-up throws, resetting and doing it in the comp.”

There has been growing opposition to the Games in Japan, where a significant portion of inhabitants have said they do not want the Olympics hosted there due to the threat of coronavirus. At the end of last month, some figures reported that around 60 per cent of Japanese people did not want the Games held there this year.

But organisers remain confident they can be held safely - and, based on his experience in other international competitions, so does Lincoln.

“I’ve been to a few European ones recently and they’ve been so well organised,” he said. “We have to be tested before we enter the hotel, before we compete, before we leave.

“Everyone’s safe and I’ve heard rumours that the Olympics will be even stricter than that, potentially tests every day for all the team.

“It’s going to be a pretty safe environment, I believe.

“It’s all pure excitement now.”

Lincoln is next in action again in the Czech Republic before he returns to the UK for the Muller British Athletic Championships, which he will be hoping is a formality before he can book his plane tickets.

The championships take place at the Manchester Regional Arena from Friday, June 25 to Sunday, June 27, with Lincoln's shot put final held on the evening of the Saturday.