The third time was not the charm for former Purdue track & field star Kara Winger. In Beijing her best was a 54.39, but it was only good enough for 41st. Four years later in London she improved to 31st with a throw of 56.23, all while competing on a torn ACL (like all the greats from Purdue). Neither of those were good enough to make it through to the finals, however.
Tonight she nearly broke through to an Olympic final in the event, but not quite. Throwing in the “B” group with the reigning Olympic champion she threw her Olympic best 61.02 meters on her first throw. It was short of her American record of 66.67 set in 2010, as well as the automatic qualification mark of 63 meters to move on to the final.
Her throw was sitting as the 12th best overall for most of the night, which is the last spot to the finals (The top 12 move on plus anyone who throws over 63 meters). Kathryn Mitchell of Australia just edged her out in her final throw with a 61.63 for the last spot in the final.
Kara’s second throw was a 57.34 and her third and final throw was a 60.54. She missed the final by 61 centimeters.
I know we’re still proud of Kara, however. This is her third Olympics and hopefully she can get another shot in four years in Tokyo. She’s still one of the best in the world at throwing pointed sticks.