Newspaper article The Chronicle (Toowoomba, Australia)

Nielsen One Throw Away from Youth Games Spot

Newspaper article The Chronicle (Toowoomba, Australia)

Nielsen One Throw Away from Youth Games Spot

Article excerpt

Byline: GLEN McCULLOUGH glenm@thechronicle.com.au

TOOWOOMBA athlete Lara Nielsen could be only one throw away from lining up for Australia at next year's World Youth Games in Italy after turning in an astonishing performance at last week's Pan Pacific School Games.

Nielsen became the first Australian under 17 hammer thrower to break the 50-metre barrier when she threw 50.92 metres to claim a Pacific School Games and Australian All Schools record at the Canberra event.

The 15-year-old's gold medal performance exceeded her previous best mark by four metres and puts her tantalising close to winning a berth at the Youth Games.

The qualifying throw for the under 18 event is 52 metres.

"I'd been throwing well in training up to 49 metres, but I was a bit surprised by my 50 metres," Nielsen said.

"But my second last throw was only 18 centimetres short of 50 metres so I was in the zone."

Nielsen is also strongly positioned to be chosen in the soon-to-be-announced Australian Youth Olympic team, but her immediate focus will be the magical 52-metre hammer mark during early 2009 competition. …

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