Brooklyn, N.S., shot putter Sarah Mitton’s first tour with top world athletes been one to remember.
After winning gold at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England, last week, Mitton threw 19.44 metres to place third at the first Diamond League track and field meet in Chorzów, Poland — her 15th top-three finish this season.
In June, she broke an outdoor record at the national championships in Langley, B.C., with a 20.33 metre throw.
“That’s metres, you know, ahead of what I’ve been throwing,” Mitton said in an interview with CBC’s Mainstreet from Heathrow Airport on Monday. Mitton’s personal best last year was 18.89. “I was feeling very on and motivated with world championships coming up.”
Listen to Sarah Mitton’s full interview:
Mainstreet NS9:55Sarah Mitton reflects on her winning year
Finally getting a chance to enjoy it
“[I] stuck around in Birmingham for the medal ceremony, which of course, you know, [is] something that you don’t ever want to miss,” she said, adding she had to take a 4 a.m. flight on Friday for the Saturday meet in Poland.
“It’s finally settled in now and I’m kind of getting a chance to enjoy it.”
Mitton said she remembers watching the Commonwealth Games growing up.
“For me, the Commonwealth Games has always been this really big thing,” she said. “That was on top of the priority list for me, was to be able to go and compete and come out with a medal.”
Mitton said she and her coach Richard Parkinson put in a lot of work in the fall and winter to “make a big shift.”
‘A big shift’
“I came into this year at a pretty big low point,” she said, adding that she also worked extensively with her sports psychologist. “Almost every one of us is ready to throw far that day — it’s just who can do it in that moment.”
Mitton said she knew as soon as her throw at nationals — the farthest in the world this season — left her hand, that it was going to break the record.
“Usually when they don’t feel like you’ve thrown them — they’re, like, almost this effortless feeling — it just kind of slingshots out of your hand and feels so good,” she said. “Before the shot had even landed, I was celebrating in the circle and yelling and cheering.”
Shooting for 20 metres
She hasn’t broken 20 metres since, falling just short at pre-worlds in Edmonton at 19.99 metres.
“That’s a very elusive club in the shot put world,” she said. “I have two more meets left and that’s the goal … to get another one out over 20.”
Mitton said she got into shot put after someone at her high school got a scholarship to throw for a school in the U.S.
‘Shot put has become very cool’
“It is just one of those things, like, the more people that do it and the more people people that have success and [the more] exposure it gets, the more opportunity there is.”
She said she would love to see more women competing in the sport.
“That really propels the sport forward,” she said. “When I was growing up, shot put wasn’t necessarily cool, and now, around Nova Scotia and … Canada shot put has become very cool.”
Growing up, Mitton was one of the only kids in the sport at Liverpool Regional High School, but now “everyone” wants to do it, she said. “It’s just really special.”
Mitton said she’s excited to bring her gold medal to Brooklyn.
“I would love for everyone to be able to get out and experience that, especially the kids and a lot of the younger athletes,” she said. “It’s just really special to come home to a community like that.”
Next, Mitton heads to the Bahamas for the North American, Central American and Caribbean Athletics Association (NACAC) Championships, followed by a trip to Zurich, Switzerland, for the Diamond League finals in September.