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29 September 2020 | in FISU Athletes

FISU Legends: Canadian shotputter credits new technique for gold medal

Sarah Mitton, a Canadian shotputter from Nova Scotia and two-time FISU World University Games participant, credits a technique change for the gold medal she won at the 2019 Summer Universiade in Napoli.

Sarah Mitton CAN 1

At the 2017 Summer Universiade in Taipei, the University of Windsor graduate finished tenth in the event that was won by her Canadian teammate Brittany Crew.


Two years later, propelled by a new way of throwing the shot put, she found the top of the podium herself.


“I’d come a long way in the two years,” she said. “I switched from the glide technique in 2017 to the rotational technique in 2018. That led into my bigger performances and better throws at the FISU Games in 2019. Winning gold was the icing on the cake.”


Mitton had unshakable confidence during the event.


Sarah Mitton CAN 2Canadian shot putter Sarah Mitton in action in the women's shot put final at Napoli 2019“I knew from the second I stepped into the circle that I was going to get a medal and then after my first throw, I was fairly certain I could be on the podium.”


It was the first such finish of her career.


“Even at the Canadian championships, very seldomly have I come out with a gold medal, so to be able to do it at the world level was amazing.”


Beyond the stadium, Mitton appreciated the unique setups in both Taipei and Italy.


“Both of them have been two of my favourite events,” she said. “Going to Asia, I felt a bit spoiled. Everything was perfect. You were never worried you weren’t going to make the time. Everything was well laid-out for organisation, the village was very cool. All sorts of stuff like that.”


Italy’s accommodations were a bit more unique.


“I have to say, staying on the cruise ship and getting to be a part of that, was really cool. It was a really different experience than what most people who participate in FISU events get to experience. It was such a neat alternative option to building a village. It was very cool.”


Mitton’s gold medal kicked off a hectic six-month stretch that saw her compete at the Pan-Am Games in Peru in July and then the World Championships in Qatar in September. In Peru she finished in sixth place, while in Qatar she was 24th.


“That was a really long season,” she said.


“The plan was to compete as much as we could, just so you get used to competing, you can learn all sorts of different ways to manage your body and perform when your position isn’t ideal. That mentality helped me a lot that season. At the beginning, most people try to pick and choose their events and focus.”


“It was interesting because FISU wasn’t supposed to be my focus, but it ended up being my best meet.”