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Another javelin top three for Mickle

4 July 2014

ATHLETICS: Ultra-consistent Australian Kim Mickle has claimed yet another podium finish at the Diamond League meet in Switzerland, beating her two biggest rivals for Commonwealth javelin gold in the process.

Mickle's best throw of 63.20m in Lausanne was good enough for third place behind dual Olympic champion Barbora Spotakova from the Czech Republic (66.72m) and Slovenia's Martina Ratej.

Further down the rankings were fifth-placed South African Sunette Viljoen (62.15m) and Australian Kathryn Mitchell (58.23m).

Viljoen and Mitchell shape as the major threats to world championships silver medallist Mickle claiming a first Commonwealth title in the Games starting in Glasgow in late July.

Viljoen has claimed the previous two Commonwealth javelin titles, with Mickle pocketing the silver four years ago in Delhi.

Kenyan runners flexed their middle-distance muscle ahead of the Glasgow Games, with athletes from the east African powerhouse winning four events at the Athletissima meet in Lausanne.

Jairus Birech led a remarkable Kenyan sweep of the top nine places in the men's 3000m steeplechase.

Olympic champion Kirani James from Grenada won the 400m in 43.74 seconds - the fastest time in the world since 2007.

Other winners from Commonwealth countries included Michelle-Lee Ahye from Trinidad and Tobago in the women's 100m and Olympic champ Valerie Adams from New Zealand in the shot put.