Kathryn Mitchell wins 2013 Sportswoman of the Year

NEW Ballarat Sportswoman of the Year and javelin thrower Kathryn Mitchell has her sights firmly set on a 2014 Commonwealth Games title.

Mitchell said her two major goals this year were throwing her way to a gold medal in Glasgow and securing a top-three world ranking.

Mitchell, 31, was last night rewarded by the Sportsmen’s Association of Australia Ballarat Associates’ Branch for a consistent year internationally with the 2013 Ballarat Sportswoman of the Year Award.

Her name now appears on the award’s honour roll twice, having previously won in 2010.

A fifth in the World Track and Field Championships in Moscow provided the highlight of an extensive overseas campaign for Mitchell in 2013.

Mitchell, who finished the year ranked sixth in the world, had four top-five finishes at Diamond League meets.

She was fourth in Paris, London and Stockholm and fifth in the final at Zurich.

Mitchell is again planning to compete in the Diamond League in the lead-up to Glasgow, basing herself in Germany.

She will travel to Europe after contesting in the Australian Athletics Championships, which double as the Commonwealth Games selection trials next month.

Mitchell has already thrown an A-qualifier for the Commonwealth Games to already be on the front foot for selection.

She said a top three finish at the trials, which she had no doubt she would achieve, would lock in her place in the team.

Mitchell received the prestigious award last night ahead of fellow finalists – racewalker Kelly Ruddick, basketballers Kasey Burton and Abigail Wehrung and karate fighter Shannyn Johnstone-Ward.

She described the awards night as a celebration of all aspects of sport.

The Olympian praised the acknowledgement the function provided for administrators and all those who worked behind the scenes to make sport what it was.

Originally from the state’s south-west, Mitchell moved to Ballarat as a secondary school student to develop her javelin throwing.

While she later relocated, she maintained her links with Ballarat as a Eureka Athletic Club member.

Mitchell is back living and training in Ballarat and sees her long-term future in the city.

She said he had become tired of living in Melbourne and was enjoying again being in Ballarat and the training facilities available to her at the Llanberris Athletics Centre.

Retired Australian netball captain Sharelle McMahon was guest speaker at last night’s awards presentation dinner, attended by more 200 people.

david.brehaut@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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