‘Discus Dani’ world champ
By by SCOTT HOWLETT AND MELISSA MATHESON
AFTER a slight pause when asked to reveal to whom she dedicated her world champion's gold medal, Dani Samuels cleared her throat and simply said ''my dad''.
Former Westfields Sports High student Dani Samuels after winning gold in the discus at the World Athletics Championships.
WESTFIELDS Sports High graduate Dani Samuels has become only the sixth Australian in history to win an athletics World Championships title.
Picture: ALEXANDER HASSENSTEIN/ GETTY IMAGES
The 21-year-old threw the discus a personal best 65.44m to clinch the win in Berlin, Germany, on Saturday and become the youngest ever discus world champion.
Samuels dedicated her victory to her late father Mark, a triathlete who was killed while he trained on the M5 in 2004.
Watching on from their Merrylands home were proud mother Tracy - who teaches at Westfields Sports High - and sisters Jamie and Casey and brother Matthew.
“She kept saying she had that big a throw in her, she was just waiting for everything to go right for her,” Mrs Samuels told The Advance.
“I was jumping up and down a lot and running around the house being silly.
“I was impressed with the way she spoke - she was very grown-up and handled it very well.”
Samuels, who won the Cumberland Newspapers Junior Sports Star competition in 2005, finished in ninth place at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games and bookmakers
had priced her at odd of 67/1 to win the World
Her final throw won her the gold medal.
“When it landed over 65m, I thought, ‘Oh my God’,” she told reporters in Berlin.
“I still can’t believe I threw that far because it just felt so effortless, so perfect.
“That was just the competition of my life.”
Posted 25th August 2009