It’s hard to imagine a better ending to Kara Winger‘s javelin career.
On her sixth and final throw — while competing in her sixth and final world championships on Friday night in Eugene — Winger won her first ever medal.
The 36-year-old Winger was in fifth place ahead of her final throw, but catapulted herself into silver-medal position with a mark of 64.05 meters (video embedded above). She is the first ever American woman to win a world championship medal in javelin.
“Doing this at home is everything that I imagined it would be,” Winger said, noting all of the family and friends who came out to Hayward Field to support her. “Really, really had the support of the crowd to get that final throw off and grab silver.”
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Winger’s career was sidelined twice by ACL injuries (2012, 2020), but she persevered to become a nine-time U.S. champion and four-time Olympian.
“That was part of my mission in coming back this year,” Winger told the IndyStar ahead of Worlds. “Show people you can throw for a really long time, if you love it, if you take care of the details, if you honor the journey more than the results. And I hope that remains true.”
Australia’s Kelsey-Lee Barber successfully defended her 2019 world title with a winning throw of 66.91 meters. Japan’s Kitaguchi Haruka picked up the bronze with a sixth-round mark of 63.27 meters.
The NBC Sports research team contributed to this story.
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