Dani Samuels

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Dani Samuels
Dani Samuels - 2010 Meeting Areva - 2.jpg
Sameuls at the 2010 Meeting Areva
Personal information
Born (1988-05-26) 26 May 1988 (age 26)
Height 1.82 m (5 ft 11 12 in)
Weight 82 kg (181 lb)
Sport
Country  Australia
Sport Athletics
Event(s) Discus
Updated on 14 August 2012.

Dani Samuels (born 26 May 1988) is an Australian discus thrower who in 2009 became the youngest ever female world champion in the event.[1]

After winning the discus gold and shot put bronze medals at the 2005 World Youth Championships in Athletics, she went on to win the bronze medal in the discus at the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne at the age of seventeen. She won the discus silver at the 2007 Summer Universiade and represented Australia at her first World Championships in Athletics soon after. She reached the final of the 2008 Beijing Olympics and improved significantly the following year to win the gold medal at the 2009 World Championships in Athletics.

Samuels is one of only nine athletes (along with Valerie Adams, Usain Bolt, Veronica Campbell-Brown, Jacques Freitag, Yelena Isinbayeva, Kirani James, Jana Pittman, and David Storl) to win world championships at the youth, junior, and senior level of an athletic event. Her personal best throws are 65.84 m for the discus and 16.30 metres in the shot put.

Career[edit]

Samuels was born in 1988 to mother Tracy Samuels and father Mark Samuels. She is the second eldest of 4 children and the family grew up in Merrylands, a suburb of Sydney and started athletics at Greystanes Little Athletics club.[citation needed]

Samuels first attended Merrylands Public School, then moved onto Westfields Sports High School as a basketballer before changing to train with her coach Denis Knowles in the Westfields athletic program.[citation needed]

Her first global appearance came in the shot put at the 2003 World Youth Championships at the age of fifteen, at which she finished 13th in the qualifying rounds. She returned to the competition two years later and demonstrated her potential by winning the bronze medal in the shot put with a new personal best throw of 15.53 m, but she showed that her abilities were also well-suited to the discus as she took the gold medal in that competition. Samuels also took part in the Australian Youth Olympic Festival in 2005, winning the shot put and taking second place in the discus throw.[2]

The following year she opened her season with an appearance at the 2006 Commonwealth Games – her first major senior championship. She reached the shot put final, finishing twelfth overall, but again it was in the discus where she excelled, winning the bronze medal at the age of seventeen. She threw a discus personal best of 60.63 m to take home the title at the 2006 World Junior Championships and was seventh overall in the shot put. Following this, she opted to focus solely on the discus throw at major tournaments. She closed the year with a sixth place performance at the 2006 IAAF World Cup, representing Oceania.[3]

She became the joint Australian champion in the shot put with 'Ana Po'uhila at the start of 2007 and also won her first national title in the discus. She threw a near personal best of 60.47 m to take the silver medal behind Yarelis Barrios at the 2007 Summer Universiade.[4] A few weeks later she took part in her first ever World Championships in Athletics. However, she just missed out on qualifying for the final round of the women's discus competition as she was the best performing non-qualifier.

In 2008 she won her second discus national title and improved her best to 62.95 m in Brisbane. She reached the Olympic final in the discus at the 2008 Beijing Games, throwing 60.15 m for ninth place. Competing at the 2009 Summer Universiade, she became the Universiade champion, beating Żaneta Glanc to the gold medal by a margin of nearly two metres.

She achieved a personal best throw is 65.44 metres at the World Championships in Berlin on 21 August 2009, winning her the gold medal. Samuels took part in the final edition of the IAAF World Athletics Final, but she was past her season's peak form and took fifth place with a sub-60 metre throw. She started strongly the following year, opening her season with a personal best of 65.84 m to win at the Sydney Track Classic in February.[5] She gave a consistent series of throws at the 2010 Australian Championships and won her sixth consecutive national title (indoor and out) with a best throw of 63.31 m.[6]

On 21 September 2010 Samuels withdrew from the Australian team for the 2010 Commonwealth Games. She cited concerns over “health and security in Delhi”.[7]

Personal bests[edit]

Event Best (m) Venue Date
Discus throw 65.84 Sydney, Australia 27 February 2010
Shot put 16.30 Brisbane, Australia 19 March 2009
16.30 Sydney, Australia 16 February 2008
  • All information taken from IAAF profile.

Achievements[edit]

Year Competition Venue Position Event Notes
Representing  Australia
2005 World Youth Championships Marrakech, Morocco 3rd Shot put 15.53 m
1st Discus 54.09 m
2006 Commonwealth Games Melbourne, Australia 12th Shot put 14.91 m
3rd Discus 59.44 m
World Junior Championships Beijing, China 7th Shot put 15.71 m
1st Discus 60.63 m
World Cup Athens, Greece 6th Discus
2007 Universiade Bangkok, Thailand 2nd Discus 60.47 m
World Championships Osaka, Japan 13th Discus 60.44 m
2008 Olympic Games Beijing, China 9th Discus 60.15 m
2009 Universiade Belgrade, Serbia 1st Discus 62.48 m
World Championships Berlin, Germany 1st Discus 65.44 m
2011 World Championships Daegu, South Korea 10th Discus 59.14 m
2012 Olympic Games London, United Kingdom 12th Discus 60.40 m
2013 World Championships Moscow, Russia 10th Discus 62.42 m

References[edit]

  1. ^ Dani Samuels - In a Spin. Inside Athletics (September, 2009 edition). [www.insideathletics.com.au]. Retrieved 7 October 2009.
  2. ^ Tarbotton, David (2005-01-24). China and Australian dual at the Australian Youth Olympic Festival. IAAF. Retrieved 2010-04-23.
  3. ^ Samuels Dani. IAAF. Retrieved 2010-04-23.
  4. ^ Clavelo Robinson, Javier (2007-08-13). Chumakova takes gold No. 5 for Russia in Bangkok - World University Games day 4 . IAAF. Retrieved 2010-04-23.
  5. ^ Hurst, Mike (2010-02-27). Hooker and Samuels and visitors Pitkämäki and Vili shine at high class Sydney Classic. IAAF. Retrieved 2010-02-28.
  6. ^ Johnson, Len (2010-04-18). Lapierre sails wind-assisted 8.78m in Perth - Australian champs. IAAF. Retrieved 2010-04-23.
  7. ^ Lane, Daniel (2010-09-21). "Australian discus thrower bows out of Delhi Games". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 2010-09-22.