Olympics: Croatia's Sara Kolak wins women's javelin gold

Sara Kolak of Croatia celebrates winning the gold medal.
Sara Kolak of Croatia celebrates winning the gold medal. PHOTO: REUTERS

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - Croatian Sara Kolak won the Olympic women's javelin final on Thursday, dashing Czech Barbora Spotakova's dreams of becoming the first woman to win three consecutive gold medals in the same individual athletics event.

The 21-year-old Croat set a personal best and a national record with her fourth attempt of 66.18m.

Kolak, who also broke the national record in the qualifying rounds, secured victory ahead of South Africa's Sunette Viljoen by 1.26m.

Kolak won bronze at the European championships but few expected her to challenge for honours before the Games in an event where the focus was on Spotakova's attempt to make history. But the 35-year-old winner of London and Beijing Games had to settle for bronze with a best throw of 64.80m.