11 JUL 2003 General News

Men Javelin Throw (700g) Final

Brazilian Julio Cesar De Oliveira danced to a samba beat after winning a thrilling javelin gold medal with his final throw to overhaul South African Robert Oosthuizen.

For much of the competition the 16-year-old Oosthuizen appeared in pole position after launching the spear out to a personal best of 79.28m to better De Oliveira’s first round 73.01m.

But just as the event appeared to be petering out to a low key conclusion, De Oliveira, with the penultimate throw of the competition, chucked out a mighty 81.16m to set a new championship record.

A shell-shocked Oosthuizen, whose father Johan was a former South African javelin record-holder, responded magnificently with his final throw and the crowd held its breath when it was revealed the long time leader had come within a mere nine centimetres of the Brazilian with 81.07m.
  
South Africa having been denied the gold at least had the consolation of picking up both silver and bronze as Raldu Potgieter shattered his personal best with 75.56m in round four to climb to third.

Europeans had previously dominated the men’s javelin in the World Youth Championships having snared five of the previous six medals but on this occasion their best finisher was Ukraine’s Roman Avramenko with 70.01 for fifth.

De Oliveira, who also popped the javelin out to 75.75m and 74.42m in rounds three and four, said of his win: “I knew that the other athletes had thrown better than me before but I threw the best performance of my life.” And on Brazil’s notoriety with football he added: “Because of me athletics will be more known than football.”

Oosthuizen added of winning silver: “I was just trying to throw my best and I am very glad I threw the 79. And when the Brazilian guy threw 81m I just tried to beat him. On the day he was best.”

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