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Little upstages Barber for javelin win

Olympic javelin finalist Mackenzie Little has upstaged Tokyo bronze medallist Kelsey-Lee Barber at the Melbourne Track Classic.

Mitchell’s last throw of 61.13m gave her the win over Barber, who was competing for the first time this season and took second with 60.31.

Little, who finished eighth at Tokyo in her first senior international competition, felt she took another big career step on Saturday night at Lakeside Stadium.

“I wasn’t quite sure where I was at – I competed at state (titles) and it wasn’t my best, coming off Tokyo, at all,” Little said.

“But that (tonight) was maybe my most consistent competition, ever, and I’m really happy with being able to build on my throws, that’s something I’ve really been working on.”

Given this is the start of Barber’s domestic campaign, she was also seeing positives in her result.

“I am really happy with how I performed tonight on the runway – the distances, not so much,” said Barber.

“I think they’ll come.

“I am really happy to be back out here, I am in a much better state mentally than I was last year and I’m really trying to soak that up and stand at the top of the runway with confidence to deliver the javelin.”

Little credited Barber with bringing out her best, saying it meant a lot to be competing against the Tokyo bronze medallist.

“I wouldn’t have that drive and energy to compete if we didn’t have that atmosphere,” she said.

“It changes everything, it increases the energy, the whole atmosphere.

“(Without it) you don’t have that grit you need to really get the best out of everyone.”

Also on Saturday night, Ella Connolly continued her hot run of form when she took out the 200m.

The 21-year-old Queenslander has won 18 of her last 19 starts and ran a wind-assisted 22.61 seconds.

She will race the 100m and the 200m at the nationals later this month.

“It is awesome conditions, 30 degrees and wind in our favour and a really competitive field, it certainly makes producing quicker times a lot easier,” she said.

“So hopefully leading into nationals, you know it is going to be a great field as well and we can produce great times there as well.”

Jacob Despard, the 2018 Stawell Gift winner, took out the men’s 100m in 10.11.

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