Dani Stevens

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Dani Stevens
Dani Samuels Doha 2015.jpg
Stevens in 2015
Personal information
Born (1988-05-26) 26 May 1988 (age 30)
Fairfield, New South Wales
Height 1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)
Weight 82 kg (181 lb)
Country  Australia
Sport Athletics
Event(s) Discus throw
Club Westfields Athletics Club[1]

Dani Stevens (née Samuels, born 26 May 1988)[2] is an Australian discus thrower who in 2009 became the youngest ever female world champion in the event.[3] She is the current national and Oceanian record holder.

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 69.64 m for the discus and 17.05 metres in the shot put.

Samuels has also spent many winters playing basketball in the Waratah League alongside her sister, Jamie, who has played in the Women's National Basketball League.[4]


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.[5]

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 (2005), winning the bronze medal in the shot put (with a new personal best throw of 15.53 m), and the gold medal in the discus. Samuels also took part in the 2005 Australian Youth Olympic Festival, winning the shot put and taking second place in the discus throw.[6]

The following year (2006) Dani 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 win 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.[7]

Samuels 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.[8] A few weeks later Dani took part in her first ever World Championships in Athletics, just missing out on qualifying for the final round of the women's discus competition as 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.[1] 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 then personal best throw throwing 65.44 metres to win the 2009 World Championships in Berlin. Samuels took part in the final edition of the IAAF World Athletics Final, but she was past her season's peak form taking 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.[9] She gave a consistent series of throws at the 2010 Australian Championships winning a sixth consecutive national title with a best throw of 63.31 m.[10]

Later in 2010 Samuels withdrew from the Australian team for the 2010 Commonwealth Games citing concerns over “health and security in Delhi”.[11]

Dani came 10th at the 2011 World Athletics Championships, 12th at the 2012 Summer Olympics.,[1] and 10th again at the 2013 Worlds.

She won the gold at the 2014 Commonwealth Games with a throw of 64.88 m.[12] At the 2016 Summer Olympics, she finished 4th, 44 cm behind Denia Caballero in bronze.[13] The following year she threw a new personal best to claim silver at the London World Championships.

Personal bests[edit]

Event Best (m) Venue Date
Discus throw 69.64 London, England 13 August 2017
Shot put 17.05 Sydney, Australia 2 March 2014
  • All information taken from IAAF profile.


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 59.68 m
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
2014 Commonwealth Games Glasgow, Scotland 1st Discus 64.88 m
2015 World Championships Beijing, China 6th Discus 63.14 m
2016 Olympic Games Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 4th Discus 64.90 m
2017 World Championships London, England 2nd Discus 69.64 m
2018 Commonwealth Games Gold Coast, Australia 1st Discus 68.26 m


  1. ^ a b c Dani Samuels Archived 28 May 2015 at the Wayback Machine.. sports-reference.com
  2. ^ Dani Samuels. 2014 CWG profile.
  3. ^ Dani Samuels – In a Spin. Inside Athletics (September 2009 edition).. Retrieved 7 October 2009.
  4. ^ "The emergence of Dani Samuels". olympics.com.au.
  5. ^ "Merrylands' Dani Samuels at Glasgow Games".
  6. ^ Tarbotton, David (24 January 2005). China and Australian dual at the Australian Youth Olympic Festival. IAAF. Retrieved 2010-04-23.
  7. ^ Samuels Dani. IAAF. Retrieved 23 April 2010.
  8. ^ Clavelo Robinson, Javier (13 August 2007). Chumakova takes gold No. 5 for Russia in Bangkok – World University Games day 4 . IAAF. Retrieved 2010-04-23.
  9. ^ Hurst, Mike (27 February 2010). Hooker and Samuels and visitors Pitkämäki and Vili shine at high class Sydney Classic. IAAF. Retrieved 2010-02-28.
  10. ^ Johnson, Len (18 April 2010). Lapierre sails wind-assisted 8.78m in Perth – Australian champs. IAAF. Retrieved 2010-04-23.
  11. ^ Lane, Daniel (21 September 2010). "Australian discus thrower bows out of Delhi Games". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 22 September 2010.
  12. ^ "Glasgow 2014 - Women's Discus Throw Final". g2014results.thecgf.com. Retrieved 2017-08-08.
  13. ^ "Rio 2016 discus throw women - Olympic Athletics". International Olympic Committee. 2017-06-03. Retrieved 2017-08-08.

External links[edit]