Kamloops hammer-throwing world champion sets sights on Olympics

World champ aims for gold

Canada’s hammer-throwing world champion, who lives and trains in the Tournament Capital, has his sights set on the 2024 Olympics after back-to-back international wins.

Nanaimo product Ethan Katzberg, who trains at the Kamloops Track and Field Club, won gold in August at the World Athletics Championships in Hungary and again took the top spot at the 2023 Pan American Games in Chile.

“I mean, the summer has been pretty spectacular. Becoming world champ and then going back again to the Pan Am Games and winning that as well was a good end-off on the season,” Katzberg told Castanet Kamloops.

The 21-year-old set a Canadian record during the World Athletics Championships, throwing 81.25 metres on his fifth attempt and besting the previous 81.18 metre record.

Katzberg said training to compete internationally requires a full-time commitment, and he makes sure to train daily.

“I’m down at the throw center here pretty much all day. It's a full-time commitment, absolutely. If I'm not here, I'm eating and resting and it's a full-time thing,” Katzberg said.

“Kamloops has a great training facility and a great kind of support system around at the TCC and my coach Dylan Armstrong — it's been a big help for sure.”

Katzberg called the Pan American Games an “undescribable experience,” with a packed stadium pushing all the athletes to perform at their peak.

“I think Pan Am's had 70,000 seats, and it was pretty full. So I mean, just deafening cheering and everything, and it was a really, really special kind of moment,” Katzberg said.

“You're throwing with the best if it's Worlds or Pan Am’s, right. The fans push everyone to be their best I think and it adds a lot of just energy into the field.”

Katzberg trains under shot put Olympic bronze medalist Dylan Armstrong in Kamloops, who said the pair are off for winter training to get ready for more competition.

“We're just preparing to get ready for a three week camp in Phoenix, Arizona and we'll be back home for a week for Christmas and then head to Portugal for the wintertime,” Armstrong said.

“Ethan's putting in the work and we're excited just to get the camp's going over the winter and then hopefully get into a few European series over in May.”

Armstrong said Katzberg has been doing “really well,” especially considering he’s moved from one championship to another in a relatively short period.

“It's been tremendous, and he's got a really good head on his shoulders and I think that that definitely helps when you're in major championships,” Armstrong said.

“We're just excited to get the season started next year, leading into Paris.”

Katzberg said he’s excited to get moving towards the 2024 Paris Summer Olympics.

“It’s a bit of a ways away, but I'm excited to get going and that's the top focus. I'm excited to get there.”

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