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Sky the limit as javelin thrower turns to AIS science

Kelsey-Lee Roberts
Kelsey-Lee Roberts is aiming for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

21 Aug 2015

The roof of the AIS Biomechanics Dome open above her, Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Kelsey-Lee Roberts says she’s aiming high for a podium finish in the javelin at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.

Roberts, 23, has been using cutting-edge sport science at the AIS to refine her technique in preparation for the IAAF World Championships, which begin in Beijing August 22.

“I have a goal of top-eight for the world champs and, if that goes well, I want to be on the podium at Rio,”

Roberts’ coach, Mike Barber, is in a good position to provide additional sport science insights - the AIS PhD scholar is running a  biomechanics project on javelin technique.

“We are using a 3D motion capture system to measure the throwing motions of our elite javelin throwers,” Barber said.

“We are looking at our javelin throwers technique to see where there are areas that they can work on and hopefully in the long run we can give them a performance gain leading in to Rio.

“Technique is paramount in javelin. Making small technique changes can mean big differences in actual distances thrown.

“Kelsey’s on track. She has had a really good domestic season and a small tour of Europe where she hit the Olympic Games qualifier mark. She is healthy she is strong and she is starting to throw far in training so things are progressing well.”

Based in Canberra, Roberts credits the AIS with her development as an athlete.

“I have been marked up for an AIS study measuring angles and velocities to help with my technique on the runway,” Roberts said.

“We got some pretty good data out of the last project we did and we have done a lot of work since then so it will be good to compare the two and see what sort of changes I have been able to make.

“I can honestly say I wouldn’t be where I am today without the help of the AIS. The facility and the services they provide have made me the athlete I am.”

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