Abby swings into the big league

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20 April 2009, By Vera Bertola

AT only 13, Camden athlete Abby Moroney has hurled herself into Australia's top 15 open discus throwers. After qualifying to compete at the recent Australian under-20 athletic titles in Adelaide, the teenager claimed fourth place with a personal best throw of 41.48m.

The result earned the praise of coach David Prior, who nominated Abby for the Macarthur Chronicle Junior Sports Star award. Prior predicts big things from the youngster who is mentored under the NSW Institute of Sport's emerging athletes program.

Abby has just wrapped up an outstanding season which started with some strong results at the state titles, resulting in her selection to compete in Canada in July. "She won several medals and broke a couple of Canadian records," Prior said.

The teenager took that form into the Pacific School Games in Canberra late last year, winning a discus silver medal and setting a personal best distance.

Last month she reinforced her reputation as one of NSW's leading junior throwers with a gold medal in the state under-14 discus and silver in the shot put.

Mum Karen Moroney said Abby's decision to try out for the national under-20 championships was a deliberate strategy to encourage her to do better. "Because she is throwing so far and there isn't much competition in her age group she has to step up," she said.

Abby trains up to four days a week, often up to three hours a session. She has her sights set on the World Youth Championships in two years.