National hammer record-holder extended her own British record with an Olympic ‘A’ qualifying mark
Just five days after setting her second British record of the season, Sophie Hitchon extended the mark further with a throw of 71.61m in California.
Competing at the OTC-Pre-Olympic Series I meeting in Chula Vista, the 20-year-old had two throws in excess of the Olympic ‘A’ standard of 71.50m, with her best of the series being 1.14m farther than the UK record she set last week at the Mt SAC Relays.
“I feel really good and training out here has gone really well,” said Hitchon. “It’s just really good to repeat it in competition.
“I love competing. I don’t want to be one of those who says I’m throwing this in training but can’t reproduce it in competition.
“I think the A standard takes the pressure off my mind, the last few competitions I possibly tried too hard but now I can relax and compete to the best of my abilities.”
Hitchon’s coach Derek Evely added: “She’s had a great camp out here in the States and she’s been throwing 70-plus daily. We just needed to let it happen in competition, and she threw it twice today.
“I think 72 or 73m is not out of the question this year, Sophie is a really great competitor and always performs well in that scenario.”
At the same competition, Goldie Sayers improved her season’s best in the javelin to 63.04m to also hit the Olympic ‘A’ standard.
Just 20 miles away from Chula Vista in La Jolla, fellow British record-holder Lawrence Okoye continued his good form in the discus at the UCSD Triton Invitational. He produced his second 66m+ throw of the season with a mark of 66.25m, while UK champion Abdul Buhari opened his season with 61.70m – his best ever season debut. Meanwhile, Greg Rutherford achieved a season’s best of 8.20m in the long jump.
How Hitchon’s mark compares to the best throws in history achieved by other athletes at the age of 20.
74.15m Zhang Wenxiu (CHN)
73.79m Anna Bulgakova (RUS)
73.52m Bianca Perie (ROU)
72.73m Betty Heidler (GER)
72.60m Kamila Skolimowska (POL)
72.51m Brittany Riley (USA)
71.61m Sophie Hitchon (GBR)
71.54m Tatyana Lysenko (RUS)
71.10m Gu Yuan (CHN)
70.69m Yunaika Crawford (CUB)
70.65m Maryia Smaliachkova (BLR)
70.39m Arasay Thondike (CUB)
70.00m Anna Skydan (UKR)