Kara Winger celebrates a World Best result following her victory in the women's javelin throw at the 2022 Diamond League Brussels series on Sept. 2, 2022 in Brussels.
Kara Winger waited until age 36, and her final season as a pro javelin thrower, to have her breakthrough in a global championship.
Her swansong season keeps getting better.
Earlier this summer at the World Athletics Championships in Eugene, Oregon, Winger unleased an amazing final throw to move from fifth to second. That marked her first medal in 10 tries at an Olympic Games or world championships.
On Friday, she threw even farther. The native of Vancouver, Washington, again saved her best throw for last, uncorking a final throw of 68.11 meters to record a commanding win at the Diamond League meeting in Brussels, Belgium. Her throw was not only 4.66 meters farther than second place Haruka Kitaguchi of Japan, but it also marked a new American record, meet record and world-leading mark.
“I feel so incredible,” Winger said, according to quotes released by the Diamond League website. “My last personal best was 12 years ago in 2010, and I had two surgeries since then, but I felt really amazing this year.”
Winger’s standout performance was just one of many among the Americans in Brussels, where several were jockeying for spots in the Diamond League Grand Final set for next Wednesday and Thursday in Zurich. U.S. athletes won two other events in Belgium, and seven others reached the podium, while distance runner Grant Fisher also recorded an American record.
Two-time world champion Joe Kovacs kicked things off Thursday in the men’s shot put, winning his second Diamond League event in a week after also taking first last Friday in Lausanne, Switzerland. This time Kovacs, who finished second in Eugene, threw a meet record 22.61 meters to beat New Zealand’s Tom Walsh by just 0.01. Fellow Americans Adrian Piperi (20.88) and Josh Awotunde (20.69) took sixth and eighth, respectively.
Teenage sprinting sensation Erriyon Knighton recorded the other U.S. win in the men’s 200. The 18-year-old Olympian, a bronze medalist in Eugene, won in 20.07 seconds, holding off Alexander Ogando of the Dominican Republic, who finished in 20.18. The win sets up a rematch with fellow American Noah Lyles, the two-time defending world champ, next week in Zurich.
Meanwhile, in the men’s 5,000, Fisher continued his ascent as the next great U.S. men’s distance runner, this time setting an American record while finishing second. Already the U.S. record holder in the 10K, Fisher crossed the line in 12:46.96, trailing only Kenya’s Jacob Krop, who won in a world-leading 12:45.71.