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Silver for Stevens with new Aussie discus record

Dani Stevens has smashed the longstanding Australian women’s discus record to claim world championships silver in London.

Aug 14, 2017, updated Aug 14, 2017
Australia's Dani Stevens celebrates after winning silver in the women's discus throw final during the World Athletics Championships in London. Photo: Tim Ireland / AP

Australia's Dani Stevens celebrates after winning silver in the women's discus throw final during the World Athletics Championships in London. Photo: Tim Ireland / AP

It has been a long time coming.

Eight years ago, the then 21-year-old Dani Samuels claimed a shock world championships discus victory in Berlin – making her the youngest female throwing winner in the history of the world titles.

It was a tough act to follow.

But Stevens kept plugging away and was rewarded at the London Olympic Stadium, early this morning Australian time.

Already in the silver-medal position behind Croatian powerhouse Sandra Perkovic, Stevens unleashed a massive final-round throw of 69.64m – almost two metres more than her previous personal best.

Even more significantly, it was 92cm better than the Australian record set by Daniela Costian in 1994.

Two-time Olympic champ Perkovic won the gold medal with a throw of 70.31m.

The bronze went to Melina Robert-Michon of France with 66.21m.

But the only thrower seriously challenging Perkovic was Stevens – who had an epiphany after finishing a frustrating fourth in the Rio Olympics last year.

“I always had faith in my potential and the direction we’ve been heading,” Stevens said.

“Rio was a really big motivator.

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“I’ve known we’ve been on the right track.

“It’s just about being able to unleash one in a pressure situation.

“I knew I could and I felt like I was building with each throw.”

Stevens refused to get distracted by what Perkovic was doing in the final, preferring to focus on herself.

“I have always said I would be able to throw 70 metres and my lifetime goal is within reach and to win a medal again is fantastic,” she said.

“It’s amazing to be up on the dais again.

“I got to that last one and I completely relaxed and unleashed and had that one thing I needed to focus on to give me the height to get that extra distance.”

-AAP

Topics: athletics
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