Canada's Mitton 3rd in women's shot put at Continental Tour meet in the Netherlands

·3 min read
Canada's Mitton 3rd in women's shot put at Continental Tour meet in the Netherlands

Canadian record holder Sarah Mitton continued a string of strong shot put performances on Monday at the FBK Games in Hengelo, Netherlands.

Mitton threw a best of 19.24 metres in six attempts to place third of nine competitors at the World Athletics Continental Tour Gold event.

American Chase Ealey, who ranks fourth in the world, was victorious in a personal-best 19.98, raising her season world-leading mark from 19.76 last month. World No. 1 Auriol Dongmo of Portugal was tied with Mitton through four attempts before throwing a season-best 19.68 on her fifth try to finish second.

Mitton is ranked 14th, though she's technically 12th since No. 7 Valerie Adams of New Zealand is retired and eighth-ranked Aliona Dubitskaya of Belarus is barred from competing due to the war in Ukraine.

Monday represented the fifth consecutive competition at which the 25-year-old Mitton surpassed 19 metres — she has three victories in that stretch — after entering the outdoor season with an 18.89 PB.

On May 7, the Brooklyn, N.S., native achieved 19.58 on her with her sixth and final throw, topping Brittany Crew's Canadian record of 19.28 from 2019 and becoming only the second woman ever in the country to top 19 metres. Only Ealey (19.98) and Dongmo (19.68) have thrown further outdoors in 2022.

Mitton exceeded 19 metres twice during a stellar indoor campaign and claimed the Canadian indoor mark of 19.16 on Feb. 5 at the Dr. Sander Invitational meet in New York. She made the final at World Indoors in March and threw 19.02 for seventh.

Mitton's coach, Rich Parkinson, is hopeful of a top-eight finish for her at the world championships next month in Eugene Ore. and at her Commonwealth Games debut July 28-Aug. 8 in Birmingham, England.

"She feels she can medal at the Commonwealth Games," he told CBC Sports recently.

Diamond League return in Norway

Mitton hasn't turned back since placing 28th at her first Olympics last July. She didn't advance out of the qualifying round and her best throw of 16.62 was the shortest since her season finale in August 2018 (15.53) in Chorzow, Poland.

Mitton will compete at the Sollentuna GP Continental Tour event on Saturday in Sweden ahead of her second Diamond League on June 16 in Oslo, Norway. She last competed on the professional track and field circuit on May 30, 2019 in Stockholm, where she was fifth (17.18).

Missing from Monday's event was Canadian runner Gabriela DeBues-Stafford, who was on the start list for the women's 800 metres but didn't race.

"Her hip acted up during warmup, so she was pulled [from the race] as a precaution," her agent, Dan Lilot, told CBC Sports. "It came on out of nowhere."

The 26-year-old DeBues-Stafford, who holds seven Canadian records between indoor and outdoor track, is questionable for the 1,500 at the Golden Gala Diamond League competition in Rome on Thursday.

WATCH | Foot speed and a punishing kick make DeBues-Stafford an elite runner:

After opening her 1,500 season on May 6 in 4:03.20 at the Sound Running Track Meet in San Juan Capistrano, Calif., DeBues-Stafford went 3:58.62 to place third nine days ago at the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, her 1st top-three finish in Diamond League action since the Final in August 2019 in Zurich, where she was third.

Recently, DeBues-Stafford left renowned coach Jerry Schumacher and the Bowerman Track Club in Portland, Ore., after 18 months to work with Trent and Hilary Stellingwerff in Victoria.

She was motivated to leave to minimize any negative stress after the doping ban of her former Portland training partner Shelby Houlihan and the latter's continued presence around the team became too much to handle.

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