Invictus Gold for Emma with unexpected shot put triumph in Sydney

Lieutenant Commander Emma McCormick has won gold for Team UK in the shot put at the Invictus Games in Sydney.

She hurled the 4kg ball 35 centimetres further than her nearest competitor – and favourite – US champion Stephanie Johnson, with Italian Paralympian Pellegrina Caputo, who was nearly one metre behind the winner.

The 37-year-old, who serves at Navy Command in Portsmouth, took the top spot with a throw of 8m 41cm – all after just 14 weeks’ training from novice to world-beater.

“It was a small shock beating a wonderful US champion and Italian Paralympian, both of whom were great competitors,” she said.

I love how strong I'm feeling physically and mentally - Invictus is working for me!

Lieutenant Commander Emma McCormick RN

“I could never have hoped to achieve this without my No.1 coach, Bron Carter.

“He had 14 weeks to put a complete novice on an international stage and he did it. So this is his medal as well!”

Emma is the only serving member of the Royal Navy in the 72-strong squad; 11 veterans RN and RM veterans are also flying the flag for the Senior Service.

She’s already represented the RN in powerlifting, posting fifth place out of 17 competitors with three clean lifts – including a 5kg personal best.

She was spurred on by her husband/trainer CPO(PT) ‘Mac’ McCormick. “The noise in the hall was immense but it was strange that I was able to filter everything other than Mac as I entered – which was very surreal,” she said.

And you may have caught her being interviewed by the Beeb for their daily round-up show.

There’s a final discipline for the officer tomorrow: the women’s discus where among her challengers once again is Italy’s Pellegrina Caputo.

Whether she takes another medal or not in her last event, she says the experience of competing in the games has been life-changing.

“I love how strong I'm feeling physically and mentally - Invictus is working for me!” she added.