Stevens wins a record 14th national title

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Now fully recovered from a career-threatening neck injury, evergreen thrower Dani Stevens has claimed a piece of track and field history with her 14th national discus title.

By pocketing the gold medal on Sunday with a best throw of 62.74m, Stevens became the first Australian to win the same event 14 times at national level.

She had previously been tied on 13 with now-retired triple jumper Andrew Murphy.

There had been fears last year that Stevens would never throw again, after a gym accident forced her to undergo neck surgery on a bulging disc.

"I'm back to as close to 100 per cent as I could have hoped for," said the 32-year-old Stevens, who has booked her spot on the 2021 Olympic team, having previously bettered the qualifying standard of 63.50m back in late 2019.

"I feel like I have some power and velocity in my arm which if I wasn't close to 100 per cent then I wouldn't have."

Stevens first shot to prominence when she became the youngest-ever discus world champion at the age of 21 in 2009.

She also claimed silver at the 2017 world championships and would dearly love to win her first Olympic medal in Tokyo, having finished fourth in Rio in 2016.

"If you were close enough you could probably tell I was a bit frustrated (today)," she said.

"I think I found my rhythm in the last seven days so I was hoping for something a bit bigger.

"But the job today was to come out and win the national championships and get selected."

Stevens has won a total of 18 national titles, including four in the shot put.

Her first discus gold came way back in 2005 when she was 16 against a field including New Zealander Beatrice Faumuina, the 1997 world champion.