BURGHEAD hammer thrower Mark Dry admits he considered quitting the sport in the wake of his Olympic rejection.
However, Dry is determined to use the disappointment of narrowly missing out on selection for London 2012 to drive him to a Commonwealth Games place in Glasgow.
The 24-year-old recently won the McCain UK Challenge and is delighted with his season, throwing a personal best of 74.82 at the Loughborough International in May.
Dry was narrowly edged out in qualifying for the Olympics by rival Alex Smith, and although he was annoyed with the decision, the former Elgin Academy student insisted there were no hard feelings between them.
"He qualified in my place because he beat me at the trials, but it was only a matter of centimetres," said Dry.
"We’re really close friends so I don’t hold it against him. It’s not his fault he was selected.
"I was so disappointed to miss out on selection to the Olympics – I’m furious more than anything else.
"It seemed that Alex was always going to be picked ahead of me. It’s annoying because I feel like the decision was political rather than being performance-based.
"To be honest, the most frustrating thing is that we couldn’t both go. It was a London Games and you would have thought they would allow two British throwers to compete.
"It was difficult to stomach when I found out I wasn’t going to London. I don’t think Alex would be as good without me – we push each other and that makes us better."
Dry, who represents both Woodford Green in Essex and Shettleston Harriers in Glasgow, is now targeting strength improvements with coach Derek Evely to reach the next level.
And despite almost ending his career, partly because of his non-inclusion this summer, Dry is targeting a spot at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, and has half an eye on Rio 2016.
"I’ve always liked the sport, but I thought about moving on with my life," he continued.
Dry, who moved to Loughborough in November 2009, has his sights set on breaking both the Scottish and British records in the near future as he nears his peak.
"If I could get to Glasgow and perform there, so close to my hometown, that would be massive for me. That’s the main focus.
"In 2016 I’ll only be 28 so I should be near my peak. There’s no reason why I can’t be throwing 78 or 79 by the time Rio comes around."
The McCain UK Challenge is a nationwide, season-long competition comprising a series of events from mid May until August for Britain’s top club athletes and aspiring internationals vying for a share in a £30,000 prize fund.