Javelin thrower Howard McDonald won gold at the Oceania Athletic Championships held last month.
Javelin thrower Howard McDonald won gold at the Oceania Athletic Championships held last month. Contributed

McDonald takes gold for Australia in Oceania Championships

PROSERPINE javelin athlete Howard McDonald threw his way to first place at the Oceania Championships while representing Australia for the first time last week.

He secured his selection in event after coming third earlier this year at the Australian Junior Athletics Championships.

McDonald said the Oceania Championships, held in Townsville, offered up trying conditions, unlike anything he had competed in before.

Although he was confident leading into the championships, McDonald said the conditions got to him early on his first throw in the under 20s men's javelin, and his effort was marked as a foul.

"The foul in my first throw did put the pressure on a bit but I won in the second throw which was more than 55m and I just built from there to a 58.48 throw for my fifth,” he said.

"The wind was pretty strong. The distances weren't as great as I would have liked, but with the conditions affecting the flight of the javelin I just threw as best I could.

"Everyone was in the same boat though, so it came down to who could handle the conditions the best.”

Despite throwing under his personal best of 67.15m, McDonald said taking the win while representing Australia was a moment he'd never forget.

"It's always good to get a win and despite the distance and it being a scrappy win, it was still good to get,” he said.

"It was a pretty special moment and I'd love to be able to do something like that again - it puts a fire in your belly when you don't perform that well so hopefully I can come back better.”

The recent win has given the promising athlete an added dose of confidence as he looks to qualifying for the 2020 World U20 Championships.


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