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Dahlgren takes South American hammer record beyond 70m

Argentinean Jennifer Dahlgren, a University of Georgia student, has emerged as one of the top South American athletes of 2006 by improving the Hammer area record 4 times this season, and leaving it at 71.78m this past weekend at the SEC Championships in Fayetteville, Arkansas. The performance became also a new US Collegian record and one of the best in the year’s world lists.

Dahlgren ended her 2005 campaign with a personal improvement that left her at 67.07m. Last year she also won the South American title in Cali, but recorded a bitter result at the IAAF World Championships in Helsinki: 3 fouls.

Her progression has been steady through the past years for the 21-year-old born in Buenos Aires. She threw 56.68m in 2000, 57.18m in 2001, 59.48m in 2002, 61.60m in 2003 and 66.12 in 2004. She joined the University of Georgia in 2003, and since then has been coached by Don Babbitt, but former Argentinean champion Andrés Charadía, now working in Qatar, has been her first master.

Her mother, Irene Fitzner, was a former national champion who represented Argentina at the 1972 Olympic Games.

In 2006 Dahlgren won the Indoor Weight throw NCAA title, also in Fayetteville, by reaching a personal best of 24.04m. At the outdoor season, she first improved her area record in Clemson, South Carolina (68.00m on 25 March), then twice in her training base of Athens (69.12m on 21 April and 69.64m on 6 May), and finally in Fayetteville on 12 May.

Her series then, was: 71.78, foul, 66.38, 66.41, and then 2 passes.

With 2 top-8 finishes at IAAF World Championships (4th at the 2001 World Youth and 5th at the 2003 World Junior), Dahlgren now wants an NCCA outdoor title to finish what so far is a great year, and finally insert her name among the world’s best.

Eduardo Biscayart for the IAAF