Julia Ratcliffe has extended her national hammer throwing
record to 69.60 metres at a meeting in the USA on Saturday.
Throwing at the Princeton Quad Meet on her home track at
Princeton University in New Jersey, Ratcliffe added 0.80 to her own national
record. She set the previous record in April 2013 also in Princeton.
Ratcliffe has been in very good form at the start of the US
season with throws of 66.31 and 68.71 in Florida and New Jersey over the past
two weeks, fitting in training, competing and studying economics at the
prestigious Ivy League university.
The 20 year old former Hamilton athlete is coached long
distance by her father Dave, a lecturer at Wintec in Hamilton. Julia sends back
iPhone videos of her training sessions three times weekly and catches up with
her father by Skype.
The throw cements Ratcliffe’s position as a firm medal
prospect at this year's Glasgow Commonwealth Games.
The record setting distance of 69.60 would have ranked her
third in the Commonwealth in 2013. She is now ranked 13th in the world for 2014
and has the longest throw by a Commonwealth athlete for the current year.
Ratcliffe finished 4th at the world junior champs in
Barcelona in 2012, throwing 67.00 and has improved steadily since then.