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Brooklyn’s Sarah Mitton is a national champion.
The 25-year-old shot putter earned the title after competing at the Canadian Olympic and Paralympic Track and Field Trials in Montreal on June 25.
Her throw of 18.21 metres was the best in the field.
“I was a little nervous despite there not being a lot of competition. It came with a whole slew of internal pressures,” she said in a phone interview from Montreal. “But with the way it was set up, I thought it should go well and it did.”
She said winning the title checks a box for her and was a good accomplishment heading into the Olympic Games.
For many athletes, the track and field championships are a final chance to qualify for the Olympics. Mitton had already qualified after beating the Olympic standard of 18.50m, first in New Zealand in February 2020.
The Montreal event was regarded more as a set up than the big show, she said.
“We’ve been focusing on the Olympics as an end goal for the last few months,” she said. “When I came home from the U.S. we went back into training mode as opposed to competition mode, and we’ve been focusing on training throughout. For me, to come out and throw a low 18 during some of my heavier training I think that’s a pretty good indication of what is to come.”
Mitton had been competing in the U.S. for several weeks before returning to Canada just over a month ago.
She said even though the nationals wasn’t a mandatory competition for her, it was still a good event to be a part of.
Mitton also competed at the Montreal Grand Prix where she muscled out a throw of 18.82m, close to her personal best of 18.89m, to win the event which was also a qualifier for the 2022 World Championships.
“Leaving Montreal with a big distance brings a lot of confidence,” she said.
She hopes to get in a few more competitions before heading to Japan, marking the end of training and a shift in focus to competition mode.
On July 18th she leaves for a pre-Olympic camp in Gifu, Japan, which gives her and other athletes about two weeks to acclimate to the time change and weather before heading into the Games village.
Over the next month she said there is one main focus that she will be working on.
“Right now things are a little choppy in the circle. Tidying things up a bit will really help me be able to accelerate the shot.”
The shotput competition at the Olympics will take place July 30 to August 1.
Kevin McBain, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, LighthouseNOW Progress Bulletin