Camryn Rogers in the hammer at the World Athletics Championships Budapest 23 (© Getty Images)
In Oregon last year, Camryn Rogers took a giant step for Canadian hammer throwing, claiming her country’s first ever medal in the event at the World Athletics Championships.
Thirteen months on, Canada finds herself at the top of the global order with not one, but now two world champions.
Four days after Ethan Katzberg upset the odds with his stunning breakthrough victory in the men’s final, Rogers made it a double golden celebration for the North American nation with a momentous victory of her own in the women’s final.
More than three metres shy of the top step on the podium with her silver medal effort in Oregon, the 24-year-old from Richmond, British Columbia, had the gold in her grasp with one fell swoop this time.
The Commonwealth Games champion took the lead with her opening effort, 77.22m, and was unable to better it – following up with 77.07m, 76.75m, 75.68m, 76.22m and 74.92m.
Her big rivals from across the border in the USA were not able to surpass it, either.
In Oregon Janee' Kassanavoid made history as the first Native American to gain a World Championships medal in any event, securing the bronze behind Brooke Andersen and Rogers.
The proud Comanche fouled her opening effort in Budapest but moved into second with 76.00m in round two. She improved to 76.36m with her next effort but could make no further inroads.
DeAnna Price, the world champion in Doha in 2019 and second on the world all-time list with 80.31m, opened with two fouls and could only muster a best of 75.41m in round five. Hence the gold went to Rogers, silver to Kassanavoid, and bronze to Price.
It might have been different had Hanna Skydan been able to replicate the 77.10m national record she threw in qualifying but the Azerbaijani finished fourth with a best on the night of 74.18m. Finland’s world U20 champion Silja Kosonen was fifth with 73.89m and Italy’s Sara Fantini sixth with 73.85m.
“Ethan really set the stage out there,” said Rogers. “I feel Canada is making its presence known all across the world. Being able to win this medal for Canada means the world to me. I am so proud to represent my country on the world's stage.
“You never know what can happen on the day of the finals. Everything is possible and that is what makes championships so exciting. On the day you need to be ready to throw your best.
“With all the training I have done, being able to come here, throw consistently and have one of the best series in my career to get a medal – it shows I am doing something right. I cannot be any happier.
“Competing in the final with such amazing and talented throwers makes this piece of history even better. It enriches the experience knowing you are among amazing people who are all aiming for the same goal. It makes me so happy to share this moment with them. This medal is a good step in the right direction. I am excited about what next year will bring. Paris will be huge.”
Kassanavoid described her silver as “a huge win for me.”
“I could not have imagined a better meet than this,” she added. “Last year I ended up with the bronze medal. I knew I could have done more and I wanted more. So I ended this with a better performance, more consistent and a better medal, second place. It was awesome for me and my coach, who worked so hard and battled a lot of adversity.
“As an indigenous woman representing my nation and the people of the Comanche nation, this is how I carry myself, how I want to inspire and empower women in sport and the next generation.
“This is a huge win for us. When I step in the ring, you see us – a beautiful, strong, resilient nation. To be indigenous, to be a Native American: that is something you cannot really beat.”
As for Price, she reflected: “It has been a long, long journey. I was at the top of my game before the Tokyo Olympic Games, but a week before the competition I snapped my ankle, tore my ligaments and had a fracture, so I went to the Games basically on one leg.
“I got eighth place there, and when I got home I had a complete ankle reconstruction. Every moment I was fighting to be able to get back. I thought I was going to have to retire, but I'm here with a medal on my neck, and these flag colours on my shoulders.
“This is unbelievable. This bronze feels like gold today. After the first two attempts, I was relaxing myself, because it was really nerve-wracking.
“But I managed to fight back with that 75.41m throw. I didn't know whether it would be enough, but I was hoping it would.”
Simon Turnbull for World Athletics
|WOMEN'S HAMMER MEDALLISTS
|Camryn Rogers 🇨🇦 CAN
|Janee' Kassanavoid 🇺🇸 USA
|DeAnna Price 🇺🇸 USA
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