Campbell wins U.S. Olympic Trial gold in hammer throw

Former Coastal Carolina standout and current Myrtle Beach resident Amber Campbell won the U.S. Olympic Trials’ women’s hammer throw on Sunday in Beaverton, OR.

Campbell took the lead after the first round with her throw of 69.48m/227-11, but three throws later she faded to fourth. Newcomer Amanda Bingson (Las Vegas, Nev.) jumped into the lead on her second throw, but Bingson still needed to throw the Olympic “A” standard of 71.50m to have a chance of representing Team USA at the London Olympic Games. Bingson did just that on her fourth attempt with a PR of 71.78m/235-6.

It was on her fifth throw that Campbell recorded the winning mark of 71.80m/235-6 to claim the title of U.S. Olympic Trials hammer champion. Campbell’s mark bettered Bingson’s best mark by only two centimeters, but it was enough to secure her place in the lead.

American record-holder Jessica Cosby (Mission Hills, Calif.) started the day in third place, and moved up as high as second place on her third and fourth attempts. However, once Campbell sent the hammer sailing past the 70-meter mark on her fifth attempt, Cosby moved back to third place with her best mark of 70.77m/232-2.

“I knew I needed a big throw going into the 5th round. As soon as I let it go and hit it I knew it would be a good throw,” Campbell said. “The energy was through the roof, everybody was into every throw, and I was excited about it.

The women’s hammer throw was one for the record books with all of the top-three women bettering the previous meet record of 70.72m. Campbell bettered the mark twice on her last two throws.

Campbell competed for the U.S. in the 2008 and 2012 Olympics and is now an early contender to lead the team in 2016.

“Goals are important to have,” she said. “I am always striving to reach the next level. I am honing in on my technique, making sure things are tight, and being a well-rounded athlete. There are really no limits if you let yourself get out of the way.”

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