This morning Eric Favors will once again get the opportunity to don the green singlet of Ireland at a major championships.
The 25-year-old who is originally from New York and who’s Grandmother Margaret Hyman (née Mahon) grew up in Ballina, Co. Mayo, has taken the Shot Put in Ireland to new levels in 2022.
Just a week and a half ago Favors threw an extraordinary personal best of 20.50m in Kutztown, Pennsylvania, to set another new national record.
The week before he had added over 20cm to John Kelly’s previous Irish record which was also set in July. Paul Quirke had held the record up to then since 1992.
It’s been quite the year for Irish throwing and an excellent year for Eric Favors.
“This whole season has just been surreal,” Favors says.
“I came into it coming off an injury last year. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to come back for Irish nationals and going into this year there was a lot of question marks surrounding me.
“I changed coach and locations from my university to Pennsylvania. I was trying to figure out how I was going to make ends meet, finishing up a Master's programme, bouncing on the weekends and trying to find a new job.”
Along with setting several national records this year, Favors also got the opportunity to compete at the World Championships in Eugene, Oregon last month. He failed to make the final throwing a best of 19.76m but made the most of the experience.
“I had that meet circled on my calendar for a very long time.
“To get the opportunity it was a surreal moment…it was just a blessing. I took full advantage of that opportunity.”
Favors is very proud to represent the country of his Grandmother’s birth. It was during his time at North Rockland High School, about twenty miles outside New York, that the suggestion that he should represent Ireland was first muted to him by Paddy McGrath, who represented Ireland at the Sydney 2000 Olympics in the Hammer Throw and coached a young Favors in the event.
“When I was back in high school, he just told me about the opportunity.
“I didn't really think anything of it,” he adds.
“It was just kind of like a no brainer and now we're here with the Irish national record. It's surreal.”
Eric Favors setting no expectations ahead of Europeans
Favors is now coached by Dane Miller in Pennsylvania where he trains alongside many top throwers. After he finished his Master’s in Education Technology, he made the move West to join Miller’s group.
The change seems to have come to fruition and the Raheny Shamrocks man clearly has a lot left to deliver but as he steps into the circle at 9am this morning to throw in the qualification round of the Men’s Shot Put at the European Championships in Munich he hasn’t set expectations.
“I have none,” he says when questioned.
“I told myself at the beginning of the year just to come into every meet prepared.
“I'm going to give it my all. I'm prepared, me and my coach have a good game plan and I've been practicing.
“I just want to have fun, stay present and throw far.”
He will have to produce a massive performance to make the final but even he doesn’t he has big ambitions for the future.
“I love throwing, love traveling, and experiencing all that stuff.
“I believe in my talents, pushing onto the world stage and one day winning a medal for Ireland.”
The European Athletics Championships are live on RTÉ TV and BBC.