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Report01 Mar 2024

Mitton wins Glasgow's first gold with shot put triumph


Canada's world indoor shot put champion Sarah Mitton (Β© Getty Images)

It just so happened that the first gold medal of the World Athletics Indoor Championships Glasgow 24 was claimed by a native of Nova Scotia – New Scotland, as the Canadian province translates from Latin.

In old Scotland’s Second City, Sarah Mitton rose magnificently to the occasion of the only final of the opening morning session in the Glasgow Arena, emerging victorious from a gripping women’s shot put competition by a slender 3cm.

Runner up to Chase Ealey (now Jackson) of USA at the outdoor World Championships in Budapest last August, the 27-year-old marine biologist snatched the lead with 20.20m in round four and had already sealed the gold medal deal before improving to 20.22m with the final flourish of the contest.

For Germany’s Yemisi Ogunleye, who had led from the opening round with a big PB of 20.19m, there was the consolation of silver.

Jackson, winner of the last two world titles outdoor, was always chasing from behind. The silver medallist at the last World Indoor Championships in Belgrade two years ago, she had to settle for bronze with 19.67m.

“It feels amazing to win my first global title,” said Mitton, who won Commonwealth gold on British soil in Birmingham in 2022. “I’m really excited by the distances all the women are throwing. It always comes down to small margins.

“Scotland’s definitely my new favourite place outside of Nova Scotia. I’ll be coming back.”

Mitton went into the final placed second on the 2024 world list, having thrown 20.08m – the farthest ever by a Canadian woman indoors – at Nehwizdy in the Czech Republic on 20 February.

She opened with 19.40m in Glasgow as the inspired Ogunleye threw down the gauntlet with a mighty effort measured at 20.20m.

That was a major improvement on the 25-year-old’s previous best of 19.57m, putting her into the 20-metre club as second on the 2024 world list – at that point - behind the 20.31m that Jessica Schilder threw at the Dutch Championships.

Schilder, the bronze medallist in Belgrade two years ago, struggled all morning, fouling five of her six efforts. Her only valid mark, 19.37m in round three, was good enough for fifth place in the finishing order.

Ogunleye, who finished 10th in the outdoor world final last year, only managed one more mark herself, a third round effort of 19.71m.

Mitton fouled in round two but then improved to 19.81m before her fourth round 20.20m – followed by 19.49m and that 20.22m big finish.

Jackson produced a solid series: 19.56m, a best of 19.67m in round two, 19.26m, a foul, then 19.60m and 19.29m.

New Zealander Maddison-Lee Wesche came through for fourth place with a PB 19.62m in the penultimate round.

Ogunleye was more than happy with her big PB and her silver. “It’s unbelievable,” said the German gospel singer. “To get that 20-metre throw right on the spot with my first attempt was surreal.

“To go home with a silver medal is amazing. It’s a great gift for my whole team.”

Simon Turnbull for World Athletics

πŸ₯‡ Sarah Mitton πŸ‡¨πŸ‡¦ CAN 20.22m
πŸ₯ˆ Yemisi Ogunleye πŸ‡©πŸ‡ͺ GER 20.19m
πŸ₯‰ Chase Jackson πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ USA 19.67m
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