RECORD THROW FOR ARNOLD
HOLLIE ARNOLD had seen her world record broken in the first round of the F46 javelin competition but she didn’t let it faze her. The Paralympic and three-time world champion knew she was capable of improving that mark even further, the Welsh athlete just needed to be patient.
New Zealand’s Holly Robinson had ensured the contest got off to a thrilling start, throwing 43.32m to beat the world record mark of 43.02m which Arnold had recorded to win gold at the World Para Athletics Championships in London last summer.
But Arnold was determined not to be beaten and in the final round her patience was rewarded as she launched the javelin out to 44.43m, forcing Robinson to settle for silver as she had done in the UK capital nine months ago.
“I feel absolutely amazing,” said the 23-year-old winner, who was born without a right hand and forearm. “That last throw, I just gave it my absolute all. I knew there was a big one there, I just couldn’t get the connection right and that’s key for javelin.
“Me and Holly always push each other on, we’ve got a massive rivalry and it’s great for both of us. This was her ‘London’ (lots of home support like the 2017 world championships had for Arnold) she had a lot more support than me which obviously affects me a little bit but at the end of the day I just do what I do best and perform under pressure and that’s what I’ve done today.”
All bar one of Arnold’s throws were over 40 metres, while Robinson surpassed that mark with all six of her throws, also improving her pre-competition best with 42.61m in the fifth round.
“It was a really emotional competition, breaking the world record and my personal best in that first round. I had to calm down from that and focus on the next rounds,” said Robinson.
“All credit to Hollie for bringing that big one out in the last round. It was my goal to get a personal best, and at the end of the day I got that.”
History was also made by bronze medal winner Friana Kwevira claiming Vanuatu’s first Commonwealth medal at any level after a throw of 24.54m.
Hollie Arnold: gold for the Welsh athlete