India’s Annu Rani finished seventh in women’s javelin throw final at the 2022 World Athletics Championships at Hayward Field on Friday evening. Annu’s best throw of the day was 61.12m, which fell short of her season's best throw of 63.82m.
The ace javelin thrower was disappointed that she wasn’t able to repeat her season's best in the medal round of the World Athletics Championships.
“The flight of the javelin wasn’t good. Technically, I was struggling a bit. It spoiled my day,” the 29-year-old told the media in the mixed zone post her event.
“Had I done my season's best of 63.82m, I could have earned a podium finish,” she added.
The Indian thrower was in contention for a medal as Japan’s Haruka Kitaguchi took home bronze with a throw of 63.27m. For the first time at the World Athletic Championships, Japan won a medal in the women’s javelin event.
“Will focus on improving my technique and will do better next time,” was Annu’s response when asked about her future plans.
Australia’s Kelsey-Lee Barber won gold with a world-leading throw of 66.91m, while Kara Winger of the USA settled for silver with a throw of 64.05m.
Kelsey-Lee in fact got her act together in Round 3 to top the field and defend her title. Kara hurled the javelin into a silver-medal performance in her final attempt to the delight of the home crowd after lying in fifth place until then.
The Indian thrower started her day with a modest throw of 56.18m and was on the verge of elimination. Of the 12 competitors in the final, the top eight athletes were to go into the final after three attempts and stay in the race for a medal.
Annu, however, raised the level of her performance in her second attempt, which was 61.12m, to stay in the race for the medal. Despite taking tips from foreign coach Klaus Bartonietz, who is Olympic champion Neeraj Chopra’s coach, Annu couldn’t prop up her performance in successive attempts.
Annu said she will have to focus more on her technique in the near future to perform consistently.
China's Shiying Liu was in the medal race but she was overtaken by the Japanese thrower and ultimately finished fourth in the 63.25m. Australia's Mackenzie Little was fifth with 63.22m.
Annu’s best throw in the qualification round was 59.60m while her season's best this year was 63.82m. She also had a couple of plus-60m throws under her belt this season.
India’s chief coach Radhakrishnan Nair said it wasn’t Annu’s day.
“On the given day she couldn’t perform,” Nair rued.