Kathryn Mitchell (Vic) is the new Australian record holder in women’s javelin, throwing 67.58m at a meet in Ringwood, Victoria on Sunday afternoon.
It was an emotional moment for Mitchell in the wake of the death of Australian men’s record holder, Jarrod Bannister on Friday. The pair shared a coach in former East German world record holder Uwe Hohn until 2010.
“To be honest it has been a shock this week,” said Mitchell. “The record drips in irony.
“Most people’s heart and spirit would have been heavy about the loss. I can only image what the family are feeling about the loss.”
The previous national mark of 66.83m was set by Kim Mickle in 2014.
Mitchell, fouled on her first attempt at the Athletics Victoria throws meet before launching a booming 67.58m. It improved her world lead set late last month of 66.73m, just 10 centimetres short of the national record.
The two-time Olympian then followed with 65.89m, a foul, 65.56m, and finally 64.47m.
The result was still somewhat unexpected, less than a week out from the 2018 Australian Athletics Championships & Commonwealth Games Trial on the Gold Coast.
“It has been on my list for a long, long time and I have been working away at achieving it, however I didn’t expect it today,” said Mitchell. “I’ve been putting processes in place to achieve this.”
Should Mitchell be selected for Gold Coast 2018, the 35-year-old will be hoping to improve on her last three performances at the Commonwealth Games having finished just outside the medals in Glasgow in fourth, while in Delhi she was fifth and in Melbourne sixth.
The women’s javelin final will take place in the evening program on Saturday at the 2018 Australian Athletics Championships & Commonwealth Games Trial, with Kelsey-Lee Roberts (ACT) defending champion.