Emily Thomas takes out state title for hammer throw

The under 16s women's hammer throw has a new state champion, with Canowindra's Emily Thomas taking out the competition last Saturday.

Thomas, who attended the NSW Junior Athletics Championship last week, threw 37.01m to take the title after it had been postponed on Friday due to storms.

She said the result was very pleasing.

"It just means my hard work has paid off, I train four times a week and it shows," she said.

"At the start I didn't really [think I could win] but after a while I thought 'oh yeah, I have it'."

With Thomas being one of 10 competitors to qualify for nationals from her club, her coach Ernie Shankelton said it had been a pleasing weekend.

"This week we had a lot better with the juniors with a gold, four silvers, a few bronzes and a lot of PBs," he said.

"So I'm very pleased, they had a storm come through on Friday night so it [hammer throw] got cancelled to 1pm on the Saturday.

"It was really, really hot and steamy, these guys are not used to steamy weather, they are used to dry heat.

"So we were worried about the humidity but they still performed well, even though some think they didn't.

"Especially because it was the first major comp for some of them."

Shackleton said it was fantastic a rural athlete had taken the state champion title.

"The kids out here don't get as much publicity and competition so it's very hard for them to be motivated to train," he said.

"So they are always behind when they go to the city, the city kids you have access to weight rooms are a little bit above but we are starting to catch them.

"Emily hasn't even started weights, she'll start this year.

"What I'm trying to do is encourage other people to coach so we can have more coaches out here and young people get the benefits of it."

He said, given 2021 is an Olympics year, interest in athletics event had piqued and he was amazed at how far the event had come.

"In Commonwealth Games years they do as well because there's more Australian representatives at that," he said.

"Being a new event, the first time hammer was introduced nationally in 1998 at world juniors and the first time the Olympics had it in was in Sydney and then Athens.

"The distance required for the hammer with a 4kg for women is 72 and a half metres, which is further than the Australian record which was set by a girl I coached in 2003.

"So back in those days 71m was world class and that girl was number three in the world for years.

"But now it's improved and the world record is up to 80m."

Thomas said an Olympics performance is a goal of hers, but it is a long way off.

"I started in 2018 doing discuss and hammer and then I started doing just hammer in June 2019," she said.

"So it's definitely a goal but you have to work up to it, nationals is next at Sydney."

She said she was looking forward to competing against fellow state athletes.

"You do get to know them, I haven't been to nationals before because they were called off last year," she siad.

"So I only know two (other competitors) from Victoria but it should be good, it will make me throw harder in the competition."