Thurmond Finishes As Top American At Worlds

Aug. 21, 2009

BERLIN - Washington alum Aretha Thurmond finished 10th in the discus throw at the World Championships today, matching her 2008 Beijing Olympics finish. It was her best career showing at Worlds, and Thurmond was the top placing American competitor.

A veteran of three previous World Championships, the 1998 UW alum and former director of the Big `W' Club made the final for the first time this year. In the final, only the top eight from the field of 12 after the first three attempts move on to take three more attempts, and Thurmond missed the cut by 3-feet, 4-inches. Thurmond's best throw was 196-feet, 6-inches on her second attempt.

'The power and the velocity of the discus was what I needed, but I just didn't get the height. In a (enclosed) stadium, you have to put up a little more height. On the last throw, I tried to time it but just quite didn't get it,' said Thurmond.

Australia's Dani Samuels won the gold with a best of 214-8. Thurmond's American teammate Stephanie Brown-Trafton, the gold medal winner in Beijing, placed 12th.

'It's tough to do everything right, but miss on one thing,' Thurmond said. 'That's the curse of a technical event like the discus. I wish that it was just aggression, but it's not. I need technique, poise and composure. It's passive-aggressive. The intensity was there, the excitement was there, and the energy was there.'

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