Canada’s Camryn Rogers wins historic silver in women’s hammer throw at world championships

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Canada’s Camryn Rogers spun around the circle four times, then threw a hammer throw that went straight into the history books.

The 23-year-old from Richmond, B.C., threw 75.52 meters to win silver at the world athletics championships on Sunday, not only Canada’s first world medal in the women’s hammer, but also the the country’s first women’s podium in a field event — full stop .

But climbing onto the podium on his world debut didn’t come as a huge surprise. It was that kind of season for Rogers. It all started when she finished fifth in her Olympic debut last summer.

“My coach (Mo Saatara) and I have had a plan for this championship since we finished in Tokyo last year…dreaming of the podium and having that image in my mind every time I throw, every time in the gym, at every moment of every day,” said Rogers, who was the youngest thrower in the women’s Olympic final.

“For this to happen and for us to be in this moment, with this medal, it’s such an amazing feeling.”

American Brooke Andersen won the gold with a throw of 78.96 on her last throw. Janee Kassanavoid of the US, threw 74.86 for bronze.

Jillian Weir of Kingston, Ont., was fifth with a throw of 72.41.

Rogers’ medal comes amid a stellar season for the Canadian, who broke her own US national and collegiate records with a throw of 77.67 at the NCAA Championships at Hayward Field last month. She won three NCAA titles for Cal-Berkley.

On Sunday, she subsequently draped herself in a huge Canadian flag and waved to the crowd, delighted that there was a crowd there. No fans were allowed in the Olympics, including her mother Shari, who is famous for not watching when Camryn throws. She nervously clutches a necklace her daughter gave her years ago and turns her head away.

“Oh my God, it was amazing. To (my mom) be in the crowd and hug her, after all,” she said. “Doing our lap of honor, the medal around the neck and holding the Canadian flag, it’s just an amazing moment. I almost can’t even put into words, it’s just this overwhelming feeling of joy and happiness.

Shari Rogers has raised Camryn on her own since her daughter was three. Camryn calls her mother her best friend. No surprise, it was Shari who suggested Camryn try athletics. Shari is a hairdresser and had a client who was part of the Richmond Kajaks athletics club.

“It was so random and so sudden. January 5, 2012. I still remember it,” Rogers said at last month’s Canadian Track and Field Championships. “Fifteen minutes before the start of the first practice of the new year I just decided to go in. There was no way to know until you did.

Rogers is part of a strong and growing group of Canadian pitchers. Sarah Mitton of Brooklyn, NS, was fourth in the women’s shot put the night before, the best result in Canadian history at the world championships.

“Every time I put on the jersey and have ‘Canada’ on my chest, I couldn’t be more proud to represent my country,” Rogers said. “And out there on the court, in the circle, those are the moments you crave, and hitting those marks to do that, executing the plan for the day and bringing home that medal for Canada, it’s such an honor.”

Rogers will pitch at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England and then call it a season.

His party plans for Sunday night? Relaxing with her mother and enjoying an ice cream.

Shortly after Rogers’ medal, Canadian Moh Ahmed finished sixth in the men’s 10,000 metres.

The 31-year-old from St. Catharines, Ont., ran 27 minutes 30.27 seconds.

The top seven runners raced virtually side by side during a frenetic final lap, with Ugandan world record holder Joshua Cheptegei striding out to claim gold in 27:27.43. Kenya’s Stanley Waithaka was second (27:27.90) and Uganda’s Jacob Kiplimo was third (27:27.90).

Ahmed will also run the 5,000m in Eugene, the event in which he won silver at the Tokyo Olympics last summer.

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