ATHLETICS coach Lindsay Burgoyne could hardly keep his emotions in check as he watched Kathryn Mitchell stake a Commonwealth Games javelin gold medal on Wednesday night.
Burgoyne was in the crowd at Carrara Stadium in what was the first time the long-time mentor had seen Mitchell throw on a major stage.
See Kathryn Mitchell’s golden moment in pictureshere.
He could tell from the warm-up throws Mitchell was firing – then she threw a Commonwealth and Australian record with 68.92 metres on her first attempt.
“I was pretty pumped at that first throw. The whole thing was pretty emotional,” Burgoyne said. “Even though I haven’t coached her in a long time, I have a long association with Kathryn...It was just fantastic to be there and then see her do as well as she did.
Watching her in the warm-up throws, no-one was on the same level as her that night
Burgoyne first came across Mitchell at an athletics event 20 years ago in Canberra.
He said Mitchell was not having a great day, but had potential and he invited the Casterton-based junior to train in Ballarat.
An extremely driven Mitchell transferred to Ballarat High School two years later and soon started to get a taste of elite competition.
Burgoyne coached Mitchell’s early career before she took her game to a new level under German Uwe Hohn, the only man to have thrown a javelin more than 100 metres.
But Burgoyne says he has been a student of Mitchell for a while now.
“I watched her develop as a athlete, like any junior, learning to feel what it’s all about,” Burgoyne said. “I’m now learning a lot from Kathryn, and from Uwe, who both have a greater understanding for the event.”
City of Ballarat and Glenelg Shire mayors each congratulated Mitchell as a great role model for aspiring young athletes in each community.
“She has worked extremely hard to achieve her dream of a gold medal...We are very proud of Kathryn and I warmly congratulate her on her inspiring victory,” Ballarat mayor Samantha McIntosh said.
While Glenelg Shire mayor Anita Rank said the former Casterton athlete, in her fourth Games, was a stellar example of what you could achieve with ongoing dedication and determination.
“What a fantastic moment seeing a former Casterton resident taking home gold on the world stage and breaking multiple records in the process,” Cr Rank said.
Mitchell’s long-time Australian javelin teammate and former national record holder Kim Mickle was quick to tweet on the Gold Coast.