Sport

Kelsey-Lee Roberts to take on Kathryn Mitchell at Canberra Track Classic

Just as the world's best darts players need consistent groupings to get the big scores, Canberra javelin thrower Kelsey-Lee Roberts is using a similar theory to help her produce a "big throw".

With Australian champion Kimberley Mickle still recovering from shoulder surgery, Roberts has her sights set on her first national title.

She "blew out some cobwebs" at the ACT championships 1½ weeks ago, but will begin her Australian summer in earnest at the Canberra Track Classic at the AIS Track on Saturday.

Her main threat will be Kathryn Mitchell, who finished one place behind Roberts in fourth at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

The 24-year-old will also compete in Melbourne, Perth and Brisbane before the nationals in Sydney in early April.

Her main focus is on improving her consistency and reducing the difference between her best and worst throws out of the six she's allowed at an event.

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 Roberts says her big throws will come from that consistency.

"For me this domestic season I'm really looking to focus in on the consistency of my competitions, really trying to build the consistency across all six throws because once I can do that the likelihood of a bigger throw coming out is there," she said.

"Once that consistency builds, the likelihood of fine-tuning a little thing on the runway to get that little bit extra and then suddenly you've got a good couple of metres on that foundation you've built."

Roberts has already qualified for this year's Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, but beating the qualifying mark of 62 metres again is the first number in her sights.

But she also wants to surpass her personal best of 63.92m, set in 2014, and then push past the 65m mark.

After the Australian season, Roberts was looking at heading to Europe for some events in Finland and setting up base in Cologne, Germany.

It will all be geared towards her peaking at Rio.

"I'm definitely looking to improve my personal best, which is 63.92m. I'd love to hit out around that 65m mark," Roberts said.

"If that happens domestically – fantastic – if it happens during the European season – fantastic – but ultimately I want to be peaking to throw my best at Rio."

While Mickle, who has won nine of the last 10 Australian titles, will be sidelined this summer, Roberts said Mitchell and herself would look to push each other.

Mitchell was crowned national champion in 2008 – the only title Mickle has missed over the last decade – and Roberts wants to get her name on the honour board as well.

"I think it will be a tussle between Kathryn and I this season. Kim's been dominating for the last few years so it will be a good chance for Kathryn and I to give it a good hit out, push each other a little bit and see what we can both produce this season," Roberts said.

CANBERRA TRACK CLASSIC

Saturday: At AIS Track, with the first event at 3.45pm.

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