Kelsey-Lee Barber saved her best for last when she claimed Australia's first ever javelin gold at the IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha 2019 .
In a javelin final that saw Kelsey-Lee Barber sitting in fourth place for most of the competition, it was a dramatic final throw of 66.56m that moved the Canberra resident to the top of the podium, with Chinese athletes taking both the Silver and Bronze spots on the podium.
Barber improved 2.91m on her last throw going from 4th to 1st, becoming the 9th Australian world champion since the first championship in 1983 and the first ever Australian to win gold in Javelin at a global competition.
“I thought it had snuck over 65m when I saw it land, but I was still waiting to see the numbers come up, so to see 66m and then jump into first place, my head was spinning a little bit,” said the new World Champion.
“My coach told me to take my run up back a little bit going into that last round and that really helped me settle into my run and get my feet down. Feeling those quick feet was the simple queue to just throw the javelin and it helped me keep my composure know that I still had something big to throw.
“Knowing the first throw was enough to get me in the top eight helped me relax a little bit for the rest of the comp, so I was happy to open up as confidently as I did, as it allowed me to just progress and move on and chip away at what I was trying to achieve tonight. But the goal was never about being in the top eight tonight, it was about being in the top three," she continued.
“I want to say a massive thank you to the guys coaching me tonight, especially Mike.”
Barber will receive her World Championship gold medal tomorrow (Thursday) night at 8:20pm (03:20 AEST).
Elsewhere in the Khalifa International Stadium, Brandon Starc completed a near faultless qualification round in the high jump, with only one failure at 2.26m, to secure his place in the World Championship after sailing across 2.29m at the first attempt.
“One miss at 2.26m and first attempt at 2.29m and that was it, which was pretty good,” Starc said.
“It’s qualifying, there’s a lot of waiting around. But it was pretty good. I was always going into it like it was a tough comp, you can’t go into qualifying think it’s going to be easy. I’ll have a complete day off tomorrow, then normal preparation on Thursday and roll on into the final on Friday.”
Joel Baden bowed out of the competition after three fails at 2.22, he cleared the opening height of 2.17m at the first attempt.
Out on the track in the 400m hurdles, Sarah Carli got out well and finished in 4th place to secure her place in the semi-final, clocking 56.37.
“We were testing out a bit of a new stride pattern tonight,” Carli said.
“I feel really confident that I nailed it and that was the first time I’ve tried pushing at 15’s to hurdle five in a race and actually being able to come home properly. It felt really good tonight.”
It was a long wait for Lauren Boden who went in the first heat of the 400m hurdles, but 56.00 was enough to see her through to the semi-finals as the fourth fastest qualifier after all the heats were completed.
Sara Klein finished Heat 4 of the 400m hurdles in 7th place, clocking 56.97, but it would not be enough to see her progress.
In the 400m flat, Steve Solomon was another Aussie who made it through to the semi-finals as a fastest qualifier. Finishing his heat in fourth place, his time of 45.82, was quick enough to see him through as the sixth fastest.
In the women’s version of the event, it was a 7th place for Bendere Oboya in a time of 51.58 in the second 400m semi-final – a time which would have seen her take third place in the following semi. It wasn’t enough to see her progress to the final, but she'll take a number of positives home from these World Championships after running a new PB and a Tokyo Olympic qualifier of 51.21secs on Day 4.
Unfortunately, Ben Buckingham would not progress out of the 3000m steeplechase heats after finishing in 14th place in a time of 8:42.86.
Following their heats today Steve Solomon, Lauren Boden and Sarah Carli will all appear in their semi-finals tomorrow evening. Also appearing in his semi-final out on the track tomorrow is Nick Hough in the 110m hurdles.
Making their first appearance at Doha 2019, Georgia Griffith, Linda Hall and Jessica Hull will all go in the 1500m heats, along with Melissa Duncan in the 5000m.
And it’s Day 1 of the Decathlon, where 2018 Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Cedric Dubler will be representing Australia, with action starting at 16:30 (23:30 AEST), broadcast on Eurosport Australia from 11:30pm - 6:50am (AEST).