Canadian Camryn Rogers strikes world silver with the hammer

EUGENE, Ore.—Camryn Rogers took her final spin in the hammer throw cage and, knowing she had just won a historic medal, ran across the track to celebrate the moment with her coach.

Her silver was the first medal ever won by a Canadian woman in any throwing event at the world track and field championships, and Canada’s first of this meet.

It’s such an honour to have brought back a silver medal for Canada and to be representing Canada on the world stage again,” said the 23-year-old from Richmond, B.C. “It’s such a privilege to be able to wear the Canadian singlet, every time.”

Winning a medal at this level, and a historic one at that, takes it all up a notch, she said.

“Every minute of every day that you spend training, meal prepping, getting treatment done, stretching, every single thing that you do, it’s for these moments.

When Rogers talks about her training, competition plan, successes to date and goals for the future, more often than not she uses “we” not “I.” When asked about it, she says she means everyone from family to friends who support her. But most especially, she means coach Mohamad Saatara.

He’s been with her since her freshman year at the University of California, Berkeley and, on his own dime, travelled with her to Finland for the world junior championships in 2018, believing it would be a defining, confidence-building event. (It was, and she won there.)

That’s why when she knew she’d be on the podium here, she ran over to see Saatara.

“We attempted to have a huge hug,” she said laughing, “but the railings were there. I couldn’t be more excited to share this moment with coach Moh, and I had my family in the stands as well.”

After the medallists took a victory lap on the track, Rogers got another hug, this one from mom Shari Rogers. That one left her in tears — her achievement fully sinking in, she said afterwards.

Hammer thrower Camryn Rogers, right, won the first medal ever by a Canadian woman in any throwing event at the world track and field championships on Sunday.

Rogers was 12 when she picked up her first hammer and still exudes passion for event.

“It’s a beautiful movement,” she said recently. “You’re moving the hammer, but the hammer is also moving you.”

When asked about that movement, Saatara struggles to come up with something that adequately describes it: “It’s almost like doing a balance of a high-wire walk mixed with a tug of war, mixed with throwing something.”

He has no trouble rattling off all the things that makes Rogers so great at it.

“Her physical talent is exceptional,” he said. “She’s quite a strong person: very, very explosive and fast, very co-ordinated, and she’s very even keeled but also a very fierce competitor.”

Sunday’s silver medal was her latest bit of history making.

She shattered her own Canadian record while winning a third consecutive NCAA title in June with a 77.67-metre throw. And at last summer’s Tokyo Olympics, as the youngest thrower in the final, she finished fifth and was the first Canadian woman to make an Olympic hammer final.

“To have finished the NCAAs so strong and then come to worlds and (delivered) on the day it counts the most, it’s something we plan for, and it’s exciting to know you’ve executed that plan that you’ve had for a year-plus,” she said.

A medal looked likely for Rogers from early in the competition.

Her third of six throws flew 75.52 metres, in the lead until American Brooke Anderson’s fourth throw of 77.42 metres. Anderson raised that to 78.96 on her final throw to put an exclamation mark on her win. Teammate Janee’ Kassanavoid took the bronze with a throw of 74.86 metres.

Rogers’s teammate Jillian Weir, who qualified for this event with a personal-best throw at the Canadian championships last month, finished strongly in fifth with a 72.41-metre throw.

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