Mackenzie Little in the girls Javelin Throw Final at the IAAF World Youth Championships 2013 (© Getty Images)
Australia’s Mackenzie Little won a dramatic battle with Cuba’s Yulenmis Aguilar in the girls’ Javelin Throw final, with both athletes swapping ownership of the championship record and the lead in a thrilling tussle for gold.
Competing with a lighter 500g implement, the 16-year-old opened her campaign with a fine 57.29m, which lasted four rounds as the leading mark of the competition.
In round five, Aguilar came to life with a 59.94m lifetime best. Determined to regain her lead, however, Little dug deep into her reserves to unleash an astounding 61.47m with the very next throw of the final, smashing her pre-event personal best by almost five metres.
By default, each mark that led the competition broke the championship record as it is the first time that the 500g Javelin has been used at the World Youth Championships. Little’s 61.47m is a World youth best with the lighter implement, though China’s Xue Juan threw a superior 62.93m with the senior Javelin back in 2003.
Little’s victory is Australia’s first in this event at the World Youth Championships since Kimberly Mickle won in Debrecen in 2001, and follows Monique Cilione’s bronze medal in Lille two years ago.
Latvia’s Anete Kocina threw a best of 54.26m in round one, which kept her in a medal position despite a strong challenge from Hungary’s Reka Szilagyi, who threw 54.24m in fourth, while Turkey’s Eda Tugsuz placed fifth with 51.56m.