GROSSETO, Italy -- University of Texas rising sophomore Michelle Carter (Ovilla, Texas/Red Oak) recorded a personal-best 57-7 (17.55m) toss on her sixth, and final, throw to capture gold in the women's shot put Saturday, July 17, at the 10th IAAF World Junior Track and Field Championships in Grosseto, Italy.
Carter is the first woman from the United States to win gold in the women's shot put at the World Junior Championships, and is just the second American woman ever to medal in the shot at the championships (North Carolina's Laura Gerraughty claimed bronze at the 2002 championships).
On her very first throw in the finals, Carter recorded a mark of 55-0.75 (16.78m) to hold the lead throughout the competition, until Russia's Anna Avdeyeva's final throw. Avdeyeva stepped up and took the lead with a mark of 56-2.50 (17.13m) on her sixth attempt, which also was a personal-best. Knowing what she needed to hit in order to earn gold, Carter came through with a 57-7 (17.55m) measure to claim first. Her previous personal-best also came on her final throw in winning the NCAA Midwest Regional title on May 29 in College Station, Texas. Carter posted a mark of 56-7.50 (17.26m) to upset defending champion Becky Breisch of Nebraska.
"When I saw her (Avdeyeva) last throw, it gave me the extra energy on my last attempt," Carter said. "I was really focused on my technique especially my release on the last throw."
Carter was very consistent throughout the competition posting marks of 51-11.25 (15.83m), 53-3.50 (16.24m) and 53-11.25 (16.44m) on her second, third and fifth attempts. Germany's Christina Schwanitz earned the bronze with a top mark of 54-2.50 (16.52m).
After five days of competition at the championships, the U.S. is tied for second with Germany with 12 medals in the medal count standings, but leads all countries with eight golds.