Charlotte Bolton will be taking the experience gained a few days back in shot put into the circle on Wednesday morning with a discus medal chance within reach.
The Tillsonburg, Ont. native competed in the F41 shot put event last Thursday, where she threw 8.73m, landing her sixth overall.
Discus has been known to be her strongest event. When the 18-year-old competes Wednesday, she’ll be coming in as the No. 4-ranked athlete behind Youssra Karim of Tunisia, Raoua Tlili of Italy, and Niamh McCarthy, of Ireland.
Bolton holds the Canadian record in discus at 26.02 metres and has rapidly progressed in the past year. She topped that number at the Royal City Inferno Track & Field Festival in Guelph, tossing 29.65 metres in June, a number that would have earned her the silver in Rio.
Bolton’s Paralympic career wasn’t supposed to take off until 2024, as she wasn’t expected to qualify for Tokyo in 2020. But the extra year off due to the pandemic helped her hone skills and constantly increase her distance: she was throwing 24.24 metres back in November of 2020, and her new personal best as of June 2021 is 29.65m, a massive increase.
Bolton’s mother understands how that year changed everything.
“Charlotte has been calling this the bonus Olympics in that if this had happened a year ago, she wouldn’t have qualified,” Bridget Fearon said in an interview with 104.7 Heart FM in Woodstock.
“So, the pandemic was to her benefit, so sure, we would have love to be there cheering her on in person, but it wouldn’t have happened if there hadn’t been a pandemic, so we can’t really complain about not being able to go because of the pandemic.”
Wednesday’s event will take place at 8:35 p.m. EST Tuesday evening.