Self-belief and getting her act together at the right moment enabled India’s national record holder, Annu Rani, to claim a bronze medal in the women’s javelin throw competition at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham on Sunday. Shilpa Rani, the other Indian in the competition, finished seventh.
Winning the bronze medal in Birmingham would have been a big morale booster for the Indian national record holder as she wasn’t able to repeat her personal best of 63.82m at last month’s World Athletics Championships held in Oregon, USA. Annu had finished seventh overall in the global event.
Trailing behind the leading group at CWG 2022, including two Australians, the 29-year-old Indian got into good rhythm on her fourth attempt to hurl the spear to a distance of 60m mark, which eventually fetched her the bronze medal.
It was a modest start for Annu with an opening throw of 55.61m, while her second and third attempts were no mark. She improved her throw to 60m on her fourth attempt. Annu's efforts to fight for silver went in vain as her fifth throw was 58.15m. Her last and final attempt was also a no-throw.
It was ultimately 1-2 for the Australian javelin throwers. World champion Kelsey-Lee Barber edged past her compatriot on her last throw to win gold for a distance of 64.43m, while Mackenzie Little's best throw of 64.27m earned her a silver medal.
It was an intense battle between Kelsey-Lee and Mackenzie for the title. Mackenzie's opening throw of 64.03m placed her in pole position. She further improved to 64.27m on her fifth throw. Kelsey-Lee stole the show on her final attempt, hurling the spear to 64.43m.
Canada’s Elizabeth Gleadle settled for fourth position with a throw of 59.79m. She couldn’t better her performance on her last attempt. India's Shilpa Rani's best throw was only 54.62m that fetched her a seventh-place finish.