Historic win for People’s Republic of China’s LIU Shiying who becomes Asia’s first women’s Olympic javelin champion while Poland’s Maria Andrejczyk takes silver and Australia’s Kelsey-Lee Barber claims bronze
People’s Republic of China’s LIU Shiying has become the first athlete from an Asian country to win an Olympic gold medal in the women’s javelin.
The 27-year-old produced the standout performance of the event with her first round throw of 66.34m at the Olympic Stadium. It was a season’s best for the 2019 World Championships silver medallist. “It means a lot to me and my country," said Liu on winning gold. "I want to thank everyone, my team, my country and also my parents. 2020 was a very difficult year for me because of the injury and of the pandemic but I got all the support and encouragement from all of them”.
Her nearest rival to claim silver was Poland’s Maria Andrejczyk, 25, who threw 64.61m, which was seven metres short of her mammoth 71.40m throw in Croatia earlier this year. In bronze was reigning world champion, Australia’s Kelsey-Lee Barber, 29, who also threw a season’s best of 64.56m. On how it feels to win a medal at Tokyo 2020, she said: "This is a childhood dream, so I'm really soaking it in and enjoying the moment.
"I think that entire competition I was super focused and super determined. I wanted the gold medal, so I was fighting for that right until the end. I think I was aware of the other competitors and what they were throwing but I held my composure right through to the end."
The upset of the tournament was two-time Olympic champion, Czech Republic’s Barbara Spotakova, failed to progress to the final. On her disappointment, she said: "It was just not my day. I could not do anything with that. It's very hard if you don't feel it, if you don't feel the click which throws the javelin."
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