London 2012: Team GB discus thrower Lawrence Okoye puts Oxford on hold for Olympics


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The Independent Online

Team GB's discus thrower Lawrence Okoye put his academic career on hold so that he could pursue his Olympic dreams. 

Okoye, 20, won a place at St Peter's College, Oxford University to read law but decided to focus on competing in the Games.  

A former pupil at Whitgift School in Croydon, he was today making his Olympic debut in the men’s qualifying round of the discus.

At school he excelled at rugby. With his 6ft 6in, 20 stone build he was hailed as the new Jonah Lomu after the New Zealand player but decided to concentrate on the discus.

His former headteacher Christopher Barnett said Okoye also got 10 GCSEs and four A-levels, adding: “He was one of the brightest boys we’ve had through the school, with enormous academic flair which has earned him a place at Oxford. He is extraordinary in many ways.”

Okoye, whose father is a Nigerian entrepreneur and mother a Home Office official, smashed the British record with a throw of 68.24 metres in May.

Only three people have thrown further than him this year.