Beaming fit to burst and booming for all she was worth, Kim Mickle produced the performance of her life to finish second in the women’s javelin at the world athletics championships.
Mickle already had the silver medal in her keeping when she stepped up for her final throw at the Luzhniki Stadium on Sunday night, courtesy of a 66.25m personal best in the second round.
And after a hug from teammate Kathryn Mitchell – who finished a creditable fifth – Mickle pumped out another PB of 66.60m with a huge smile on her face.
It was 20cm short of Louise McPaul-Currey’s 13-year-old national record. But that can wait for another day.
This was about redemption for her qualifying-round flop at last year’s London Olympics.
Not to mention vindication of her “boom tactic” which involves throwing the javelin as far as possible without thinking about it.
“The boom tactic came out – which was always going to be a hit and miss sort of thing,” said the 28-year-old Mickle.
“The Russian (crowd) all got behind me on that last throw and I boomed the hell out of it.
“When I do go for it, that’s when my consistency tends to go out the window.
“I couldn’t ask for anything better and I honestly feel there is more there.
“It’s such an exciting time for me.”
Mickle bettered her PB three times in the space of three days in Moscow, having also thrown 65.73m in the qualifying round.
It was Mitchell who landed the first blow for Australia in Sunday’s final, throwing a season’s best of 63.77m in the opening round.
Mickle opened with a moderate effort of 60.43m.
The West Australian briefly moved into top spot with her 66.25m second-round effort, only to be overtaken minutes later by Germany’s Christina Obergfoll with what turned out to be the gold-medal effort of 69.05m.
“My first throw was not great so I tried to have another feeler and then activate the old boom,” said Mickle.
“It came in the second instead of the third because my first one scared the hell out of me.
“It was amazing out there. I enjoyed every moment of it.
“It was the scariest and funniest thing I’ve ever done in my life.”
The bronze went to reigning Olympic champion Maria Abakumova from Russia with 65.09m.
Obergfoll finally claimed her first major title, having previously finished second and third at the Olympics and runner-up at the 2005 and 2007 world championships.
After undergoing ankle surgery in February, Mitchell was proud to finish fifth, which ensured Australia placed two female athletes in the top five of the same event at a world titles for the first time.
“A little bit further would have been great but, with my technique, that is where I’m at,” said the Victorian.
“It was great to get one out.
“A season’s best was the target for the final as well so I have really ticked every box.
“There was nothing more I could have done.”