OLYMPIC heavyweight hopeful Lewis Williams is angling for more than just gold at Paris 2024.
The Leamington star is a keen fisherman and in his spare time can often be found swapping the ring for rods and reels.
Williams’ two sporting loves may seem to have little in common, but the Olympic hopeful suggests otherwise.
Williams said: “You are constantly concentrating and there is the patience side to fishing too.
“You’re thinking, ‘how I can fix this and how can I fix that, and it gets really technical.’
“You can learn things from other people too and try and put that into your own game and see how it all comes together.
“I’m not a fan of the cold so now it’s nice and hot I’ll get back out there. If I can get a free day and the weather is good, then I’ll do it, but it’s all been quite busy this year.
“Hopefully, we’ll secure qualification for the Olympics and then I can give myself a little rest and do a few days fishing before pushing onto Paris.”
The 24-year-old is one of over 1,000 elite athletes on UK Sport’s World Class Programme, with funding provided by National Lottery, allowing him to train full time.
This grants him access to the world’s best coaches and means he can benefit from pioneering medical support which is vital for his pathway to the Paris 2024 Games.
Williams struck gold at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games last summer with an emphatic unanimous points decision victory in the final and has good reason to have Paris in his sights.
Fishing, by contrast, is not part of the Olympic programme but Williams would be an advocate for any campaign to see the sport restored to the Games, having featured as a one-off in 1900.
Williams added: “It’s not as boring as you think, it’s not a case of sitting and waiting all day.
“You see activity here and there and you’re constantly chasing. There is a lot of thinking behind it and strategies, so it’s not just a waiting game.
“It’s needed for me to have that wind down time. I like to get away and chill out and get away from people.
“I have a few friends I fish with, but you get a lot of time out there and there’s no hassle – and nobody punching you, so it’s good.”
Williams hopes that by sharing his story it will give others motivation to become involved in sport.
In the not-too-distant past there was talk of Williams moving up to the super-heavyweight division – the same category Anthony Joshua dominated on his path to a memorable gold at London 2012.
Williams will not be making that step up any time soon, but he is confident he can follow in the footsteps of one of Britain’s biggest sporting stars and establish himself as king of the ring.
He said: “I’ve won a load of medals, so why change it? I just stick to what I’m doing and keep sharpening up.
“I’ve got my place at 92kg and I’m making the weight quite comfortably even though I’m 6ft 6in, so I’m very big for the weight class.
“To me, it’s an experience thing.
“I like the idea that I’ve got about, and I’ve done my rounds for years here. Now it’s about getting the rewards from it and getting to the Olympics and taking my medals there.”
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