Goldie Sayers twice defied experts who said she wouldn’t throw again, and came back stronger

Three-time Olympian, Suffolk's Goldie Sayers, retired from the javelin this week.

Three-time Olympian, Suffolk's Goldie Sayers, retired from the javelin this week. - Credit: PA

Goldie Sayers retired this week, and she did it on her terms.

Twice the three-time Olympian was told she wouldn’t throw again.

However, the Newmarket-born 34-year-old defied the experts and prolonged a fine career that could still result in her being awarded a bronze medal from the 2008 Olympics.

Sayers, awaiting the result of an appeal by Russia’s Mariya Abakumova – the silver medalist who tested positive for a banned substance after a retest – before she can be upgraded to a bronze, said: “I’m proud at what I have achieved, although I know I could have done and achieved more had it not been for all the surgery I underwent from 2008 onwards.

“Twice I was told I would never throw again and twice I came back better and I did that because of my love for the sport, I overcame every obstacle.


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“I love the flow of the sport and how when you throw you are mentally and physically at one with your javelin, I love that sense of timing.”

It was Sayers’ quest for perfection that would ultimately prove to be her downfall, the Newmarket athlete suffering an elbow injury as she dominated her Olympic rivals after three rounds of a Diamond League meeting, three weeks before London 2012.

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“Prior to London 2012, on that day it felt as though it had clicked – I was totally on-point,” she recalled.

“My one regret is that I didn’t stand down after three rounds, but I felt at that stage I was training in a competition environment. On that fourth throw, I was injured.”

London 2012 was a painful experience for Sayers, who failed to reach the final.

Five years on and having endured more injury woe since 2012, due to complications after the operation to heal the London injury, Sayers has called it a day, but will remain in athletics, helping young prospects to thrive, having launched a javelin mentoring website.

“It frustrates me that in technical events like the javelin, it depends where you grow up as to whether there’s a good coach in that area,” explained Sayers.

“There could be international athletes out there and hopefully I can help them wherever they live.

“I want to see people improve and mentoring gives me the chance to give something back.”

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