Kiarna a bronzed Aussie after claiming Oceania javelin podium

GOING THE DISTANCE: Merimbula javelin prodigy Kiarna Woolley-Blain is celebrating a bronze medal at the recent Oceania Area Championships, held in Townsville. Photo: Supplied

GOING THE DISTANCE: Merimbula javelin prodigy Kiarna Woolley-Blain is celebrating a bronze medal at the recent Oceania Area Championships, held in Townsville. Photo: Supplied

A sharp young Sapphire Coaster has landed a podium finish at the recent Oceania Area Championships.

Kiarna Woolley-Blain, 17, of Merimbula, claimed the bronze medal in the women's under 18 javelin at the huge week-long international athletics event, held in Townsville.

Despite the windy conditions, Kiarna threw 44metres 37centimetres to bring home the bronze medal.

Her personal best is 49m77cm.

She shared the podium with her two fellow Australian representatives, to whom she also placed third at the national level to earn her place on the Australian squad.

"It was a surprise as I hadn't been throwing very well in training and the day was very windy, with a cross wind the worst thing for javelin when you're trying to get plenty of height and distance," Kiarna said this week.

When they told me how far it had gone I was really surprised and happy.

Kiarna Woolley-Blain

"It was my first throw and it looked alright, but when they told me how far it had gone I was really surprised and happy."

Kiarna on the podium with her bronze medal

Kiarna on the podium with her bronze medal

Kiarna paid special tribute to her coach Malcolm Lavender "for his ongoing work in the background, constantly redesigning my program to suit what's next, being dragged away from his family all over Australia for competition, for driving down from Bombala every week for training and for looking after my longevity".

Lavender even travelled to Queensland for the week to help Kiarna train - she didn't compete until the Friday afternoon following a Sunday opening ceremony.

"It started off a bit scary, I didn't know anyone there," Kiarna said of her week-long stay at Townsville.

"But the people there were very nice.

"And that was a big thing for me [having a coach on hand] - although I think he loved it as well coming up and watching everyone for the whole week."

Ready to throw

Ready to throw

Kiarna had other supporters she wished to thank following her most recent success.

They include Paul and Mark and Seaside Health Club for their ongoing sponsorship: "Having 24/7 access to Seaside's modern facilities makes it easy to tick off the gym component of my program".

Lumen Christi Catholic College: Mr Centra and all my teachers for helping me balance my school work with training, special thanks to Jamie Lynn and Mark and Ingrid Thompson for their guidance and support".

Sapphire Coast Arts and Sports Youth Development Fund; and the David Dodd Scholarship (Rex, Linda and Matty).


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