The Australian Olympian feared the worst after a training accident that saw a 160kg weight fall on his chest

Aussie Olympian feared he’d never walk again after horror training accident saw 160kg weight fall on his chest and suffocate him: ‘Scariest thing to ever happen to me’

  • Matt Denny narrowly missed a discus medal at the Tokyo Olympics
  • He is preparing for the world championships in Oregon this year
  • Before the national titles, he dropped a 60kg weight on his chest
  • Denny said it was the first time he had a panic attack

Tokyo Olympian Matt Denny is no stranger to close calls, but hopes a recent weight room incident that could have cost him his life will be a one-time event.

As the Queensland champion discus prepared for the national titles which took place on Friday – where he took a landslide victory to book his place at the world championships in Oregon – he dropped a 160kg weight on his chest.

Australian Olympian Matt Denny feared he would never walk again after a horror training accident saw a 160kg weight fall on his chest and suffocate him

“I was doing a quirky 160kg bench press and something happened and it fell straight into my chest and choked me,” the 25-year-old Queenslander told AAP on Friday.

“It was probably the scariest thing that ever happened to me and the first time I had a panic attack afterwards.

“I’m very lucky that I haven’t suffered any serious injuries and that I haven’t been paralyzed and that I haven’t suffered crush injuries to my chest, broken ribs or had a punctured lung.

“It’s 160 kilos and it fell on me, so I was very lucky.”

“I think I now have eight out of nine lives left.”

Denny also hopes to put his heartbreaking results at the Tokyo Olympics behind him.

Despite breaking his personal best, Denny missed a medal by just 5cm.

In the final round, he threw the best of his life at 67.02m to move up to fourth after his first five attempts were all between 65.00m and 66.06m. His previous record was 66.15m.

Denny competes in the Men's Hammer Final on day four of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games at Carrara Stadium

Denny competes in the Men’s Hammer Final on day four of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games at Carrara Stadium

Denny admitted his winning throw of 62.79m at the national titles was not particularly impressive, despite conditions that weren’t conducive to big throws.

But he is confident he will be ready to peak for the world championships July 15-24.

“We’re going overseas for four months in May and the goal is to keep loading going,” Denny said.

“We’re not aiming for the top of the Diamond League, we’re trying to get to the top of the big leagues because that’s what matters.

“I would rather win a World Championship or Commonwealth Games than win a Diamond League at this point in my life.

“We can maintain a peak for two weeks – and it turns out there are two weeks left between the World Championships final and qualifying in Birmingham.

“I’m not here to miss another five centimeter medal.”


Naomi C. Amerson