LAUNCESTON'S Paralympic shot put champion Todd Hodgetts marked his call-up to this year's world championships by revealing for the first time the extent of the pain he was in when he threw for gold in London.
The 24-year-old is still recovering from an operation on the arm he broke when delivering the 16.29-metre world record throw which clinched his victory in the Olympic Stadium last August.
Hodgetts, one of five Australian athletes yesterday selected for the International Paralympic Committee world championships in Lyon in July, said he underwent an arthroscopic procedure in Melbourne in January during which surgeons discovered a chipped bone as big as a human thumb.
``I actually broke it on the world record throw,'' Hodgetts said.
``It was my fourth attempt, I remember it well. I heard a click and felt the elbow go snap.
``It did not sound good and every throw after that there was a sharp pain like a knife going straight through my arm.
``I wasn't going to take any painkillers because I didn't want any ASADA issues but the adrenaline took over.''
Speaking from Canberra where he is undergoing rehab from his operation, the life member of Newstead Harriers said he initially hurt his throwing arm two weeks out from the Paralympics and said the resulting swelling had him doubting whether he could compete.
``As soon as I started warming up the pain kicked in but I was determined to throw. That was the biggest day of my life and I was not going to pull out.''
Hodgetts said the world champs were the most important date on his 2013 calendar and he would not damage his chances by competing too soon, including at the national trials in Sydney in April.
``I'm pretty stoked with automatic selection because I can't compete at the moment. I'm starting to get movement back but it's still not right for throwing. I just want to focus on Lyon, I don't want to risk it in little competitions.''
Also identified for automatic selection yesterday were fellow Paralympic champions Evan O'Hanlon, of New South Wales, and Victorians Kelly Cartwright and Richard Colman plus four-time world champion Kurt Fearnley.