Sophie McKinna storms into shot put final at Commonwealth Games
- Credit: PA
Sophie McKinna is throwing angry, and it is clearly working as the Great Yarmouth thrower stormed into the shot put final at the Commonwealth Games.
The 23-year-old laid down a marker to her rivals with a season's best outdoors throw of 17.24m in her first attempt at qualifying in the Carrara Stadium on the Gold Coast.
That secured her a spot in today's final with plenty to spare and McKinna clearly has an axe to grind out here in Australia.
Fifth at Glasgow 2014 and with a new indoor personal best in February, McKinna was not initially selected by England for these Games.
But injury withdrawals by Danny Talbot and Ben Williams opened up a slot – and McKinna has grabbed it with both hands.
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'It was a late call-up for me, but I think I now have a point to prove because of that,' she said. 'I want to say that I should have been on the plane in the first place. It always helps your throwing when there is a little more aggression there – I am really pleased with that performance to get it done on the first throw.
'It's absolutely amazing. 16.50m should've been within my realms, but I didn't expect to throw 17.24m. I hoped to plop it over, so it is a great start and it gives me a lot of confidence heading into the final.
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'It's not a surprise, but I didn't expect to do that in qualification with such ease.'
Fifth in Glasgow four years ago, McKinna also has Youth Commonwealth experience after taking gold on the Isle of Man back in 2011.
And McKinna is desperate to add a senior medal to her collection in a final that includes her two England team-mates Rachel Wallader and Amy Strickler as well as Kiwi shot put legend Dame Valerie Adams.
'I am in great form, that qualifying shows it. Who knows what I can do when I get the chance to build on it,' she said. 'I will go back to the village now, chill out and get some food in and we will come out for the final and see what happens.
'It's even better that all three of us made it. It's good to have three English people in the final, it's good to have representation.
'Valerie (Adams) is always going to be an awesome athlete, a 23-year-old like me can only dream and hope to have a career like hers.
'The crowd are amazing. They are all waving and cheering as we walk around, mainly at Valerie of course, but I will take it – it's been really good.'
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