Mielczarek picked for youth world championships

Mackenzie Mielczarek competing at the national championships. (Supplied) 278745_01

Ash Bolt

Geelong athlete Mackenzie Mielczarek will have the chance to show her skills on the world stage when she represents Australia at the World Athletics Under-20 Championships later this year.

The 19-year-old javelin thrower was one of 60 young athletes selected last week to represent the green and gold at the championships in the Colombian city of Cali from August 1 to 6.

Mielczarek made the team after winning the under-20 national championship with a throw of 51.68 metres – more than two and a half metres further than the silver medallist – at the national championships in March.

The talented young athlete also placed fifth in the country in the senior championships.

“It’s amazing to know I’ll be able to compete at the world championships. I’ve put in a lot of hard work to get to here and it’s great to see it paying off,” she said.

“I’ve known that I would make the team since the national championships, but it’s all official now which is a relief.

“It will be my first international competition – I was picked to for the world championships last year but it was held in Nairobi (Kenya) and Australia didn’t up going for safety reason, which was a little disappointing.

“But I’m really excited to get another chance this year and go to Colombia – I’m not really sure what to expect but I’m looking forward to it.”

The selection is the latest milestone in Mielczarek’s career, which started at the Corio Little Athletics club in 2012.

“Ten years ago I started little athletics and as part of that, you had to try every sport,” she said.

“I found that I just loved javelin – getting to throw a spear is pretty cool when you’re a kid.

“So I kept going with it … I’ve competed in pretty much every capital city and … I really enjoy it.”

Mielczarek trains three to four times per week with her coach Stephen Cain in Box Hill, while studying at Deakin University and managing a casual job.

She said she would spend the next three months until the world championships working on her technique, which has undergone a lot of change this year.

“There’s the Oceanian Championships coming up in the next month or two, but that will be my only formal competition … I’ll mostly be sticking to my training to prepare,” she said.

“We’ve been working on a lot of technical changes this year – I had a few issues before – particularly during my release.

“We have a saying in javelin that you want to keep the arm long and that’s what I’m working on.”

Currently ranked in the top handful of under 20 javelin throwers in the world, Mielczarek said she was ultimately aiming to make the podium in Cali.

“I haven’t set myself a goal in terms of the distance I want to throw, but I’m aiming to make the top eight first and then finishing on the podium would be nice,” she said.

Beyond that she has dreams of competing at the Olympics.

“My goal is Olympics and to make a world championships as part of a senior squad,” she said.”

She won’t be the only Geelong athlete competing at Cali, with Cassidy Bradshaw and Tiana Boras also picked in the squad.

Pole vaulter Bradshaw, who competes for Deakin Athletic Club, qualified after winning with under-20 national championships with a four metre jump.

Boras, who competes for Athletics Chilwell, is Australia’s only female triple jump representative on the squad.