WC Women’s Javelin — Barber Drops A Bomb

A big comethrough saw Kelsey-Lee Barber move from 4th to gold on her final throw. (KIRBY LEE/IMAGE OF SPORT)

WHAT A DIFFERENCE a foot makes. “Anyone out there could have dropped a bomb at any given time, and I’m not surprised it was Kelsey,” said American Record holder Kara Winger of Kelsey-Lee Barber. As the competition was cruising to a seemingly predictable conclusion, the 28-year-old Aussie turned a tame event into a rout.

China’s Shiying Liu and Huihui Lu, and Germany’s Christine Hussong vied for 1st through the first 4 rounds. However, after second-round throws had left Lu (65.06) and Hussong (65.05) separated by a centimeter at 213-5, there were no substantive changes until the fifth. Then Liu’s 216-2 (65.88) jumped her into the lead and relegated her favored teammate to the silver medal position, with Hussong at bronze.

Meanwhile, Winger stirred the pot by vaulting over Barber into 4th (207-5/63.23), only to be turned back by Barber’s next throw, 208-10 (63.65). “Having Kara pass me put a rock up me a little bit to say that this comp is going to keep moving,” said Barber, and she did not want it to keep moving without her.

“I was not at all surprised when she then passed me immediately again to move back into 4th and then won the championships,” said Winger of the fifth-round fray and sixth-round drama.

“There was a slight technical change in the fifth round which I found really helpful on the runway,” said Barber. “It was as simple as moving my runup back another foot. So, giving myself a little bit more space on the runway just allowed me to be smooth.” The technical adjustment of a lifetime. “In the sixth round it was a matter of clearing the mind and telling the body what it needed to do and just believing there was more there.”

Was there ever. Her last-round explosion of 218-4 (66.56), her second-best throw ever, soared past Liu, Lu, and Hussong as ’17’s 10th-placer won her first global medal. Her timely toss was almost 10ft (3m) farther than her previous best of the day. “I’m really, really happy,” she said after having to sweat out the final throws of Hussong, Lu and Liu. “It was one thing to be able to say it and believe it and another to be able to execute it.”

The Chinese pair, who had been looking at silver and gold until Barber’s epic throw, were understandably disappointed. “I am not very satisfied,” said Lu, who had hoped to add World gold to her silver (’15) and bronze (’17). “I did not feel the power and the energy.”

Lost in the shuffle was a deeply disappointed Hussong, who dropped from 2nd to 4th amidst the late-round fireworks. She was the only competitor to throw over 65m (213-3) and not medal. “It was annoying to miss a medal by 28cm,” she said.

Winger’s 5th is the highest ever for an American at the WC, surpassing her own 8th from ’15. Of having been as high as 4th she said, “It was really fun to feel like I belonged. I had a great time feeling that way.”


WC WOMEN’S JAVELIN RESULTS

FINAL

(October 01) (temperature 77F/25C; 53% humidity)

1. Kelsey Barber (Aus) 218-4 (66.56)

(206-6, 201-5, 191-5, 199-10, 208-10, 218-4) (62.95, 61.40, 58.34, 60.90, 63.65, 66.56);

2. Shiying Liu (Chn) 216-2 (65.88)

(212-7, 205-5, 212-8, 202-10, 216-2, 215-8) (64.81, 62.61, 64.82, 61.82, 65.88, 65.75);

3. Huihui Lu (Chn) 214-10 (65.49)

(213-0, 213-5, 213-3, 204-5, 214-10, 205-5) (64.93, 65.06, 65.00, 62.31, 65.49, 62.61);

4. Christin Hussong (Ger) 213-11 (65.21)

(198-9, 213-5, 197-8, 199-7, 204-2, 213-11) (60.58, 65.05, 60.26, 60.84, 62.25, 65.21);

5. Kara Winger (US) 207-5 (63.23)

(190-2, 202-8, 206-3, f, 207-5, 204-9) (57.96, 61.77, 62.88, f, 63.23, 62.40);

6. Tatsiana Khaladovich (Blr) 205-2 (62.54)

(f, 199-7, 205-2, 204-2, 198-6, 203-4) (f, 60.84, 62.54, 62.23, 60.51, 61.98);

7. Sara Kolak (Cro) 204-4 (62.28)

(191-0, 204-1, 199-11, 187-3, 204-4, 184-5) (58.22, 62.22, 60.93, 57.09, 62.28, 56.21);

8. Annu Rani (Ind) 200-6 (61.12)

(194-4, 200-6, 197-6, 198-2, 191-10, 190-0) (59.25, 61.12, 60.20, 60.40, 58.49, 57.93);

9. Barbora Špotáková (CzR) 196-5 (59.87)

(f, 195-3, 196-5) (f, 59.52, 59.87);

10. Martina Ratej (Slo) 193-6 (58.98)

(193-6, 187-9, 188-1) (58.98, 57.22, 57.32);

11. Nikola Ogrodníková (CzR) 187-9 (57.24)

(f, 183-9, 187-9) (f, 56.01, 57.24);

12. Irena Šedivá (CzR) 183-3 (55.86)

(182-10, f, 183-3) (55.73, f, 55.86).

first 3 rounds
* = progression of the leading throw
¶ = athlete’s best of the day
Ogrodníková f 56.01 57.24¶
Lu 64.93* 65.06* 65.00
Hussong 60.58 65.05 60.26
Ratej 58.98¶ 57.22 57.32
Kolak 58.22 62.22 60.93
Liu 64.81 62.61 64.82
Winger 57.96 61.77 62.88
Šedivá 55.73 f 55.86¶
Rani 59.25 61.12¶ 60.20
Špotáková f 59.52 59.87¶
Barber 62.95 61.40 58.34
Khaladovich f 60.84 62.54¶
rounds 4 & 5
Rani 60.40 58.49
Kolak 57.09 62.28¶
Khaladovich 62.23 60.51
Winger f 63.23¶
Barber 60.90 63.65
Liu 61.82 65.88*¶
Hussong 60.84 62.25
Lu 62.31 65.49¶
last round
Rani 57.93
Kolak 56.21
Khaladovich 61.98
Winger 62.40
Barber 66.56*¶
Hussong 65.21¶
Lu 62.61
Liu 65.75

QUALIFYING

(September 30; auto-qualifier 28-4/63.50)

Qualifiers: Lu 220-8 (67.27), Hussong 214-2 (65.29), Liu 208-3 (63.48), Ratej 206-3 (62.87), Rani 204-10 (62.43) NR, Špotáková 203-11 (62.15), Winger 203-10 (62.13), Khaladovich 202-7 (61.74), Ogrodníková 200-8 (61.17), Barber 200-5 (61.08), Kolak 200-1 (60.99), Šedivá 199-10 (60.90);

Non-qualifiers: Haruka Kitaguchi (Jpn) 199-7 (60.84), Alexie Alais (Fra) 198-4 (60.46), Ariana Ince (US) 198-3 (60.44), Liz Gleadle (Can) 197-5 (60.17), Sunette Viljoen (SA) 197-2 (60.10), Madara Palameika (Lat) 196-8 (59.95), Lingdan Su (Chn) 192-1 (58.56), Eda Tuğsuz (Tur) 191-2 (58.28), Annika Fuchs (Ger) 190-10 (58.16), Maria Andrejczyk (Pol) 189-3 (57.68), Liveta Jasiūnaitė (Lit) 186-8 (56.90), Anete Kociņa (Lat) 186-0 (56.70), Réka Szilágyi (Hun) 184-7 (56.26), Hanna Hatsko-Fedusova (Ukr) 183-2 (55.84), Līna Mūze (Lat) 182-7 (55.66), Laila Ferrer de Silva (Bra) 182-0 (55.49), Yuka Sato (Jpn) 180-6 (55.03), Yuzhen Yu (Chn) 175-1 (53.38), Victoria Hudson (Aut) 172-3 (52.51). ◻︎