Beijing Flash! August 18, 2008-Stephanie Brown Trafton of US Wins Discus! by Larry Eder


Stephanie Brown Trafton won the gold medal in the discus, ending a 76 year gold medal drought for the US in the event. This is the first time an American women has won the discus since 1932! She is the elite athlete liason for the PA USATF, and works with our publication , Cal Track & Running News. Needless to say, we have a cover change coming for September/October 2008.

The last US women gold medalist? Lillian Copeland won the gold in Los Angeles.


There are lots of way to win a championship. First, you need the talent, then you need to work hard, then you have to have some luck and then, you have absolutely crank a performance out of your heart and soul that exceeds all of the effort of your fellow Olympians. Stephanie Brown Trafton just did it!

In her first round throw, Trafton cranked out a 64.74 meter throw and took the lead. She did not let go of the lead the rest of the evening. The rest of her series was two fouls, a 58.39m, a 61.30 m and a final foul. Trafton really just needed one throw to win!

Yarelys Barrios of Cuba threw 63.71m, 63.64m, 62.22m, 62.12m a foul and 60.30 m, with her second throw holding on for the silver. Olena Antonova of the Ukraine had a nifty series of 60.79m, 62.16m, foul, and in the fifth round, she hit 62.59 meters, and a final throw of 62.59 meters. This was Antonova's seasonal best, 62.59 m, which held on for the bronze.

Aiin Song of China threw 62.20 meters for fourth, even with the help of the 85,000 strong Chinese crowd, who had purchased tickets to see LIu Xiang, the injured hurdler.

In the end, Stephanie Brown Trafton was wonderfully contempletiive: " This is the first gold medal for the USA women in the discus events since 1932. USA didn't come out the last several years. We need as many gold as we can... I am surprised that we have not won more gold..The competition is fair, and I can beat the others back and forth. I came here just wanting to qualify, I did not think too much...I am very happy we got the medal, it is an awesome feeling. Someone told me, fi you come to the Bird's Nest, you will have a golden egg. I am just happy that my first throw was the gold medal throw!"

In a snap of a finger, in just the time it takes to spin, release and watch the discus land, Stephanie Trafton Brown is now a part of Olympic history. As the elite athlete liason for the Pacific Association of USATF, she also has been quite helpful for California Track & Running news editor Christine Johnson, who has raved about her.

Congratulations Stephanie!

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