Sunday, August 30, 2015

Winger finishes eighth in first major championship final in Beijing...

BEIJING, China—Competing in a final for the first time in her career in either a world championship or Olympics, Vancouver native Kara Winger (left/photo by Paul Merca) finished eighth in the javelin Sunday night as the IAAF World Track & Field Championships concluded its nine day run at the Bird’s Nest Stadium in the Chinese capital.

Winger finished with a best of 199-9 (60.88m), as Kathrina Molitor of Germany won the competition with a last attempt throw of 222-1 (67.69m) to snatch victory from China’s Huihui Lyu, who took the lead in the penultimate round with a national and Asian area record toss of 216-11 (66.13m).

South Africa’s Sunette Viljoen of South Africa was third with a best of 215-10 (65.79m).

Winger started the day with a first round throw of 192-1 (58.55m), then improved to 198-11 (60.63m). 

As she was on the bubble, with, among others, former world and Olympic champ Barbora Spotakova of the Czech Republic, and Pan Am champ Liz Gleadle of Canada trying to sneak past her for one of the eight spots to get three more throws, the Skyview HS grad came through with her 199-9 toss to keep both Spotakova and Gleadle out of the finals.

In the final three rounds, she threw 194-8 (59.34m) and 194-6 (59.28m) before fouling her last attempt.

In the mixed zone afterwards, she said, “I didn't execute today. However, I know that I did the best I could on the day, and I'm thrilled to be in the top 8. I felt strong. I felt connected to the javelin. I just didn't put that connection in the right direction, but I had a great time and that's what I wanted to do.”

“I'm really thrilled to be a part of this women's group of throwers at this World Championships. It's been really fun. Last summer all four American record holders were on the Continental Cup team, and this year all four were on this team, so it's really cool to not only be a team member with those girls but to be with four other girls who have made the final.”

“I'm excited about the future. The season has been really busy and really successful, but it's also been pretty long.”

In other events, Mare Dibaba of Ethiopia won the women’s marathon in 2:27:35; former Indiana University standout Derek Drouin of Canada won the men’s high jump in a jump at 7-8 (2.34m); Almaz Ayana of Ethiopia led a sweep of the medals in the women’s 5000, winning in a championship meet record 14:26.83; Asbel Kiprop of Kenya won his third world title at 1500 meters in 3:34.40; the Jamaicans won the women’s 4 x 400 relay in 3:19.13; and in the final event of the meet, the United States, with veteran LaShawn Merritt on the anchor, won the 4 x 400 relay in 2:57.82.

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