Shaun Pickering

Shaun PickeringFormer British number one shot putter Shaun Pickering is a giant in every respect – both in person and as the finest all-round exponent of the three heavy implements in Welsh athletics history.

Son of former Welsh National Coach and BBC commentator Ron and Olympic bronze medallist Jean Desforges, he has held the Welsh record for both the shot (16 years) and hammer for a remarkable 29 years. Also his 19 Welsh titles, including three trebles (shot, discus and hammer) is unlikely to be beaten for a very long time. Only fellow Welsh Athletics Hall of Famer, Venissa Head has won more track and field titles with 25 wins.

He competed in the shot at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics and won the shot bronze medal at the 1998 Kuala Lumpur Commonwealth Games. His Kuala Lumpur medal was only the third Welsh field events Commonwealth Games medal to be won by a Welshman since the Games were inaugurated in 1930, behind gold medallists Lynn Davies (long jump 1966/1970) and Neil Winter (pole vault 1994). His only other appearance in a major athletics championship was in the World Championships in Athens in 1997 where he failed to qualify for the shot final.

Shaun, born in Griffithstown, Gwent in 1961, and standing a massive 1.97m (6’6) and weighing 143 kg (315 lbs/22st 7 lbs) at his peak, was spoon-fed athletics from an early age. Apart from his parents being steeped in the sport, his god-father is 1964 Olympic long jump gold medalist, Lynn Davies.

His Welsh record for the shot of 20.45m set in 1997 is, as of the end of the 2013 track and field season, still the 5th best by a British athlete. He achieved this massive performance when finishing second to the previous year’s Olympic silver medalist, John Godina of the United States at Crystal Palace in what was at the time the second best performance by a British athlete. Only the 21.68m by Geoff Capes at Cwmbran in 1980 being superior.

Whilst the shot was his best event, he was also a brilliant discus and hammer thrower, regularly ranking amongst the top performers in Britain.

His Welsh hammer record of 68.64m set in 1984 still stands at the end of 2013. Altogether, he set a total of 17 Welsh records across his three events, a record which will stand for many a year.

Father Ron was Welsh national coach and of course is a Welsh athletics icon having coached Lynn Davies to the Olympic long jump title at Tokyo in 1964. But Ron earned fame as the voice of athletics on the BBC for many years until his untimely death in 1991.

Mother Jean was one of Britain's leading athletes who won an Olympic bronze medal in the 4x100m at Helsinki in 1952 and was the European long jump champion in 1954 and a member of Britain’s winning sprint relay team. She died in 2013 at the age of 83, and her memory remains through the support young athletes receive through the Ron Pickering Memorial Fund, which she set up after Ron’s death. Shaun and his sister Kim are both trustees and are the "senior ambassadors" of the charity.

Shaun was inducted into the Welsh Athletics Hall of Fame in 2009, when he was presented with his award by his late father’s BBC co-presenter, Paul Dickenson, himself a former British hammer international.

Shaun’s performances in the Welsh Championships:

 

 

Shot

Discus

Hammer

1980

Did not compete

Did not compete

1ST

1981

Did not compete

Did not compete

1ST

1982

Did not compete

Did not compete

1ST

1983

1ST

1ST

1ST

1984

Did not compete

Did not compete

Did not compete

1985

1ST

1ST

1ST

1986

Did not compete

Did not compete

Did not compete

1987

2ND

1ST

1ST

1988

Did not compete

Did not compete

Did not compete

1989

2ND

1ST

1ST

1990

2ND

2ND

1ST

1991

Did not compete

Did not compete

Did not compete

1992

1ST

1ST

1ST

1993

Did not compete

Did not compete

Did not compete

1994

Did not compete

Did not compete

Did not compete

1995

Did not compete

Did not compete

Did not compete

1996

Did not compete

Did not compete

Did not compete

1997

1ST

2ND

Did not compete

1998

1ST

Did not compete

Did not compete

TOTAL

5

5

9

Clive Williams/Jan 2014

Welsh Athletics Ltd.
Cardiff International Sports Stadium
Leckwith Road
Cardiff. CF11 8AZ.

  • WAG
  • SCW
  • UKA