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    Cream of Kiwi hammer throwers sees her opportunity with postponement of Olympics

    on May 17, 2020

    CURRANZ athlete Julia Ratcliffe is one of many elite athletes adjusting to the news that the Tokyo Olympics has been postponed due to COVID-19.

    One of the best female hammer throwers New Zealand has ever seen, the 2018 Commonwealth Gold medallist had taken her game to another level in the early 2020 Olympic build-up.

    In February, Julia was on the cusp of qualification until COVID-19 threw the world into disarray.

    She became the first woman ever to throw over 70m on New Zealand soil when hitting 70.76m at the Waikato Bay of Plenty Championships. It was a throw that eclipsed even her Commonwealth gold-medal-winning distance of 69.94.

    A week later she bettered that with a new national record of 72.35m in the Porritt Classic in Hamilton. Her throw fell just 15cm short of the Olympic qualifying distance of 72.50m.

    She continued her great form into the Capital Classic (70.53m) and New Zealand Championships, where 70.31m earned her the Senior Women’s National Hammer title. 

    Julia says: “Having the Olympic Games moved to 2021 was the right call to allow a much safer atmosphere for the Games. 

    “Right now, there is still so much uncertainty so it is hard for athletes to make a new plan to move forward.

    "But I'm committed to making Tokyo 2021, and I'm really looking forward to when the dust settles so I can sit down with my team and make a more certain plan of attack.

    “More time to prepare is really just an opportunity to be in Tokyo stronger and throwing further than ever!”

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