BARBER Kelsey-Lee

20 Sep 1991
South Africa

Events and Medals

Discipline Event Rank Medal
ATH Athletics Women's Javelin Throw 3 Bronze Medal


Start Time Location Event Status
Olympic Stadium - Long Throws
Olympic Stadium - Long Throws

Biographical Information


Olympic Games
YearLocationJavelin Throw
2016Rio de Janeiro, BRAQual. (55.25)

World Athletics Championships
YearLocationJavelin Throw
2019Doha, QAT1st (66.56)
2017London, GBR10th (60.76)
2015Beijing, CHNQual. (60.18)

Oceania Championships
YearLocationJavelin Throw
2019Townsville, QLD, AUS1st (65.61)

Diamond League overview - Three best ranks per season and event since 2017
YearJavelin Throw
20211 x 3rd
20193 x 2nd, 1 x 6th
20181 x 3rd, 1 x 8th, 1 x 9th
20171 x 2nd, 1 x 4th, 1 x 5th

Diamond League - Ten best performances since 2020
22019Javelin ThrowZurich, SUI64.74
22019Javelin ThrowLondon, GBR65.85
22019Javelin ThrowLausanne, SUI65.63
22017Javelin ThrowZurich, SUI64.53
32021Javelin ThrowOslo, NOR60.86
32018Javelin ThrowLondon, GBR64.11
42017Javelin ThrowLausanne, SUI64.06
52017Javelin ThrowLondon, GBR64.38
62019Javelin ThrowShanghai, CHN61.40
82018Javelin ThrowShanghai, CHN57.47

World Challenge - Ten best performances since 2020
12018Javelin ThrowWorld ChallengeBerlin, GER62.70
22017Javelin ThrowWorld ChallengeTurku, FIN64.06

SF - Semifinal, QF - Quarterfinal, 1R - 1st Round, Qual. - Qualification, QR - Qualification Round, DNF - Did Not Finish, DNS - Did Not Start, DQ - Disqualified, NM - No Mark, [Relay athlete without time] - Did not run in final
Kelse (, 24 Apr 2020)
Kelsey-Lee Roberts
Watching films, going to the beach, sport, cooking, photography, spending time with family and friends. (Instagram profile, 30 Jan 2020; Facebook page, 30 Jan 2020)
Coaching, Exercise Science - University of Canberra, Australia
Husband Mike Barber
Mike Barber [personal, husband], AUS, from 2015
Her husband Mike Barber serves as her personal coach. (, 07 May 2020;, 02 Oct 2019)
She took time off with a shoulder injury at the end of the 2019 season. (, 29 May 2020)

She missed the 2016 National Championships in Sydney, NSW, Australia, because of a stress fracture in her lower back. (, 14 May 2020;, 10 May 2016)

In 2012 she tore a ligament in her elbow during a competition at the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra which ended her season. (, 27 Jan 2014)
She competed in athletics at high school and began training seriously in javelin in 2010. (, Mar 2016;, 02 Nov 2019)
She was inspired to compete at the Olympic Games after experiencing the build up to the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney. She tried various throwing disciplines due to her upper body strength, before deciding to focus on javelin after winning the 2008 Pacific School Games in Canberra, ACT, Australia. (, 02 Nov 2019;, 28 Sep 2019)
To win gold at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. (, 07 May 2020)
She does five days of strength training per week. She also includes conditioning and water running in her training. (, 21 Nov 2019)
Australian javelin throwers Kim Mickle and Kathryn Mitchell. (, 24 Sep 2019)
Husband and coach Mike Barber. (, 02 Oct 2019)
"I love that feeling when you get on to a big throw. A good throw feels seamless, kind of like you're threading a needle through the sky. It feels great knowing all the hard work you put in is worth it. So that's what I do." (, 07 May 2020)
She was named the 2019 Able-Bodied Female Athlete of the Year by Athletics Australia. She was also Female Athlete of the Year at the 2019 Canberra Sport Awards. (Athletics Australia Twitter profile, 10 Jun 2020;, 02 Dec 2019;, 29 Dec 2019)

General Interest

She plans to use her experience from the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro to help improve her performance at the 2020 Games in Tokyo. Her training was disrupted ahead of the 2016 Games due to a stress fracture in her back, and she was eliminated during the qualifying stage of the javelin competition. "I had by no means the ideal preparation for Rio. I had delivered a childhood dream to qualify, but until you are in that environment you don't realise that the medallists are only a very small portion of what happens at an Olympics. Rio wasn't great for me. I really have to turn that around and make Tokyo my best, and I'm going in saying that my goal for this Olympics is to be on the podium." (, 02 Nov 2019)

She is coached by her husband Mike Barber, who she met while she was training at the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra in 2014 and later took on as her full-time coach. "Those lines can get blurry at times because athletics is part of what we love, but we're both aware that when we start to talk about it too often we can call each other out, 'Okay, that's enough javelin talk for tonight, let's watch a movie'. We've always been diligent to separate work time and home time and it works because I have so much respect for Mike as a coach. When I rock up to training, I'm there to listen, to learn, and for that partnership to be holistic in the way I act as an athlete. When it comes home, we try to leave coaching at the door." (, 14 May 2020;, 29 May 2020;, 24 Apr 2020)

She says that thinking positively and concentrating on processes rather than results helps her focus during competitions. "Whenever competitions start up, the lesson I'll take from last year [2019] is the value of self-belief. My whole career, I believed that I could one day win a world title, but last year was when I finally matched my body to that belief. The lesson now is to hold on to that belief. Because even in situations when you're down to the last throw, sometimes that's all you need. Using positive language and mindset and making it be process-driven rather than result-driven is so important. You have one more opportunity to let your body do what it does really well. You need to find that element on the runway which I do really well when I stick to my process." (, 14 May 2020;, 21 Nov 2019)

She was born in East London, South Africa and moved to Corryong, VIC, Australia in 2000 with her family. (, 14 May 2020;, 30 Jul 2019)

Bronze Medal
Gold Medal Event
Silver Medal Event
Bronze Medal Event
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