Kelsey-Lee Barber
Kelsey-Lee Barber

Golden girl is Australia’s newest world champion

Australia's Kelsey-Lee Barber is the new world javelin throw champion.

The Canberra thrower won Australia's first gold medal in the event in the most dramatic fashion, producing the winning throw with her last in the competition.

Barber was sitting in fourth position coming into the final round before unleashing a 66.56m bomb which rocked her opponents.

 

Kelsey-Lee Barber waited until her final throw to take the lead. Picture: Getty
Kelsey-Lee Barber waited until her final throw to take the lead. Picture: Getty

She then had to wait anxiously for the final three competitors but China's Liu Shiying was unable to improve on her best of 65.88m which handed the Australian the gold medal.

Australia has a rich history in the javelin throw with Kim Mickle winning the silver medal at the 2013 world championships in Moscow while Joanne Stone also finished second in 1997.

Barber, 28, has enjoyed a breakthrough season in 2019 and came into Doha ranked No.2 in the world.

 

Kelsey-Lee Barber celebrates her win in the women's javelin throw final. Picture: AP
Kelsey-Lee Barber celebrates her win in the women's javelin throw final. Picture: AP

But she struggled through the qualifying round on Tuesday, scraping into the field in 10th place.

It was a different Barber in the final and she started promisingly with an opening throw of 62.95m.

She then struggled with her next three throws before rediscovering her mojo with a 63.95m effort to push her back up into the medal hunt.

 

Kelsey-Lee Barber is Australia’s latest world champion. Picture: Getty
Kelsey-Lee Barber is Australia’s latest world champion. Picture: Getty

Barber, who is coached by her husband, Mike, won her first international medal at the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games when she finished third behind Mickle.

She finished 10th in the 2017 world championships final and then improved to win the second medal at last year's Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.

Barber threw a new personal best of 67.70m in Lucerne in July which moved her to No.2 on Australia's all-time list.

Brandon Starc competes in the high jump qualification. Picture: Getty
Brandon Starc competes in the high jump qualification. Picture: Getty

SMOOTH SAILING

A lot of waiting around was all Brandon Starc had to complain about after cruising through qualifying in the men's high jump.

Australia's leading medal chance had one slip-up at 2.26m but then bounced back to comfortably clear 2.29m to book a spot in the final.

"One miss at 2.26 and the first attempt at 2.29 and that was it. Five jumps all up so that was pretty good," Starc said.

"The main thing was just to get through to the final. It doesn't really matter how pretty it was.

"There was a lot of waiting around and that was what my 2.26 miss was about I think."

There was one high-profile casualty in qualifying with Syria's Majed El Dein Ghazal, the bronze medallist from the 2017 world championships, missing out.

News Corp Australia


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