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September 29, 2000
Teen triumphs in strongwoman stakesThe Rediff Team
17-year-old Kamila Skolimowska came to Sydney as the reigning world youth champion in the hammer throw. She leaves as the first ever Olympic gold medallist in the event which debuted here, in Stadium Australia, on Friday.
Her throw of 71.16m, on the third attempt, was enough to win the baby-faced strongwoman the title over a very elite field.
She was European junior champion in 1997 at the age of 14, and won the first 1999 world championships title, set four world records and won all her 16 events last year.
Sydney schoolmarm Debbie Sosimenko seemed headed for gold when she hurled the ball-on-a-chain 67.95m -- her own personal best.
That put her in the lead, but also inspired the competition. Reigning world number one Olga Kuzenkova threw 69.77 -- which fetched her a silver.
Germany's Kirsten Muenchow went 69.28m -- and that put her in third. And then the baby of the pack came along, and upstaged them all.
This, for the record, was the event where Romanian world champion Mihaela Melinte was dragged off the field before start of the qualifying round on Wednesday, after testing positive to nandrolone.
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