Home | Contact Us | IAAF World Championships | U.S. Track & Field | Community News, Features & Profiles | Links | About Steve
  Attending IAAFWC, Just A Dream Months Ago
  Back on German Soil
  A Great Day In Weimar
  18 Hours Before the Meet
  August 15
  Barringer Offers Heart Checkup
  Cantwell Got Things Started
With A Big Throw
Yurkovich's Night On Big Stage Ends In Disappointing Fashion
By Steve Ritchie
August 18, 2009 - Special to the Newberg Graphic

Steffi Nerius
BERLIN - The IAAF World Track & Field Championships, held every other year, isn't the Olympics. But it sure feels like the Olympics, with the television cameras up close and personal, the medal ceremonies, the huge crowds, and the intense pressure to perform.

Newberg High and University of Oregon grad Rachel Yurkovich got a taste of all of that and more on Tuesday evening in Berlin, Germany, when she competed in the finals of the women's javelin throw in the World Championship meet. Unfortunately, Yurkovich, normally one of the most consistent and unflappable performers around, experienced a rare off-night of throwing and finished in 12th place with a best throw of 167 feet 9 inches. That mark is nearly thirty feet less than her personal best throw of 195-07.

The gold medal was won by Germany's Steffi Nerius, who, at the age of 37, recently announced her retirement after the championships.  Throwing immediately after Yurkovich in the first round, Nerius sailed the javelin 220 feet 9 inches, and that throw was good enough to hold up through all the rest of the competition. The boisterous, mostly German crowd kept the celebration going outside the stadium long after the meet ended.

An obviously upset Yurkovich tried afterwards to talk through what happened to her. "I felt pretty good in warm-ups but a little tired," she said after leaving the field. "Getting warmed up tonight I thought 'I feel good,' but I don't know (what happened). I tried different mindsets throughout. Everybody keeps telling me 'oh you have this big throw coming' so that made it a little hard. There were a lot (of distractions). It's a little hard to get in the groove, I guess, when you have to stop for ceremonies, races and stuff like that. But it's no excuse."

Rachel Yurkovich
The feeling had been much different on Sunday after the qualifying round, when Yurkovich had thrown twice over 195 feet and qualified for the finals. No American woman had been able to qualify for the javelin finals in a world championship meet since the inaugural event in 1983 in Helsinki. Her best mark on Sunday of 195 feet 7 inches placed her 11th out of 31 competitors from 23 different countries.

Yurkovich not only distinguished herself by making the finals of the event, but, at the youthful age of 22, she was also the third youngest competitor in the field. Five of the top seven placers were in their late 20's or 30's. Obviously experience matters.

The bottom line for Yurkovich, though, is that she made history in her event and got the opportunity to compete against the best in the world. And that is what she will carry home with her when she leaves Berlin.

"I was just thrilled to have made it this far," she said. "I am happy to be here."

Featured articles:
A Favorite Memory of
Hayward Field

The 1972 Olympic Trials stand
out more than any other meet I
can recall at Hayward. This was
the first Trials to be held in
Eugene... (more)

Mt. Angel Woman Helps Keep Olympic Hopefuls On Track in Eugene

What does it take to be an
Olympic athlete? For most
athletes who reach that elite
level, it takes years ...

Going the Distance

No one participating in or
cheering on runners at the
Homer's Classic 8K on August
8, will be surprised that there are women running in the 27th...

Ian Dobson Races to Third Place at Trials and Makes U.S. Olympic Team

Pacific University Library Director Marita Kunkel was in the stands
at Hayward Field in Eugene last Monday night... (more)

Stage Set for Beijing as Memorable Olympic Trials Conclude in Eugene

After a steady diet of track and field at the U.S. Olympic Trials
in Eugene for the past 10 days,
I pondered the question: (more)

©2010. All Rights Reserved . No part of this site may be reproduced without express written permission. Web design by IrishLemons.com

counter for wordpress