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Australian javelin world champion keeps husband-coach busy during pandemic

Video Credit: Reuters - Sports - Duration: 04:00s - Published
Australian javelin world champion keeps husband-coach busy during pandemic

Australian javelin world champion keeps husband-coach busy during pandemic

Home isolation during the coronavirus pandemic has left javelin world champion Kelsey-Lee Barber with fewer chances to hurl her spear but the Canberra-based Australian is taking it all in her stride with the help of her versatile husband-coach.

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EDITORS PLEASE NOTE: PART VIDEO QUALITY AS INCOMING VIDEO SHOWS: WORLD CHAMPION AUSTRALIAN JAVELIN THROWER, KELSEY-LEE BARBER, THROWING JAVELINS, BARBER CARRYING JAVELINS, SOUNDBITES FROM BARBER AND HER HUSBAND AND COACH, MIKE, BARBER DOING YOGA IN HER LIVING ROOM, BARBER DOING WORKOUT IN HER GARAGE, BARBER WORKING OUT IN BACKYARD SHOWS: CANBERRA, AUSTRALIA (APRIL 21, 2020) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL) 1.

WORLD CHAMPION AUSTRALIAN JAVELIN THROWER, KELSEY-LEE BARBER, THROWING JAVELIN 2.

BARBER PICKING UP JAVELIN 3.

BARBER THROWING JAVELIN 4.

VARIOUS OF BARBER RUNNING UP TRACK AND THROWING JAVELIN CANBERRA, AUSTRALIA (APRIL 23, 2020) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL) 5.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) WORLD CHAMPION AUSTRALIAN JAVELIN THROWER, KELSEY-LEE BARBER, SAYING: "And we're taking very good care of how we're operating in our day to day life.

So I'm feeling very confident that, no, I'm not too afraid of actually getting the virus and secondly, no I don't think it's changed my desire for Olympic gold at all.

I know it's changed the timeline and the date for that." CANBERRA, AUSTRALIA (APRIL 21, 2020) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL) 6.

VARIOUS OF BARBER THROWING JAVELINS 7.

BARBER WALKING ALONG AND CARRYING JAVELINS CANBERRA, AUSTRALIA (APRIL 23, 2020) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL) 8.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) WORLD CHAMPION AUSTRALIAN JAVELIN THROWER, KELSEY-LEE BARBER, SAYING: "We'd normally be planning to head overseas very shortly and base ourselves normally at the European training centre in Italy for three, three and a half months while we travel and compete and then would've gone into major championships.

So, in terms of the year, things look very different and even day to day we are now sort of, kind of going with the flow.

I guess trying to manage what we can." CANBERRA, AUSTRALIA (APRIL 21, 2020) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL) 9.

REFLECTION OFF TELEVISION SCREEN OF BARBER DOING YOGA IN HER LIVING ROOM 10.

VARIOUS OF BARBER DOING YOGA 11.

BARBER'S MEDALS FROM COMPETITIONS ON SHELF CANBERRA, AUSTRALIA (APRIL 23, 2020) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL) 12.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) WORLD CHAMPION AUSTRALIAN JAVELIN THROWER, KELSEY-LEE BARBER, SAYING: "So I guess the best example is we would normally be training out of the AIS (Australian Institute of Sport) gym and we're now training out of our garage.

So put the cars out and put some mats and some gym equipment in and so making the best of that situation." CANBERRA, AUSTRALIA (APRIL 21, 2020) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL) 13.

VARIOUS OF BARBER WORKING OUT IN HER GARAGE GYM 14.

WHITE BOARD DISPLAYING WORKOUT CANBERRA, AUSTRALIA (APRIL 22, 2020) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL) 15.

BARBER PERFORMING CHIN UPS ON RINGS OUTSIDE WITH HER HUSBAND AND COACH, MIKE, WATCHING ON CANBERRA, AUSTRALIA (APRIL 23, 2020) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL) 16.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) WORLD CHAMPION AUSTRALIAN JAVELIN THROWER, KELSEY-LEE BARBER, SAYING: "Trying to find a silver lining in most of our situations at the moment, even though they are different, still trying to enjoy the differences that those can add to our training." CANBERRA, AUSTRALIA (APRIL 21, 2020) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL) 17.

VARIOUS OF BARBER RECEIVING A MASSAGE FROM MIKE BARBER CANBERRA, AUSTRALIA (APRIL 23, 2020) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL) 18.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) COACH AND HUSBAND OF WORLD CHAMPION AUSTRALIAN JAVELIN THROWER, KELSEY-LEE BARBER, MIKE BARBER, SAYING: "Oh, look I think from the start we've been pretty clear on trying not to bring work home.

And obviously at the moment, we're kind of forced to and so I think again, we're trying to stick to what we've always done in terms of when it's training time, we're all in and we're professional about what we do and when it's time to switch off." CANBERRA, AUSTRALIA (APRIL 21, 2020) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL) 19.

BARBER THROWING JAVELIN AND TALKING TO MIKE STORY: Home isolation during the coronavirus pandemic has left javelin world champion Kelsey-Lee Barber with fewer chances to hurl her spear but the Canberra-based Australian is taking it all in her stride with the help of her versatile husband-coach.

Barber and husband Mike would usually keep their work separate from home-life but the lockdown has blurred the boundaries and bound the couple tighter.

Mike is now much more than a coach and confidant, becoming 28-year-old Barber's physio, massage therapist and training partner because of social distancing rules preventing her from spending time with anyone else.

"And we're taking very good care of how we're operating in our day to day life.

So I'm feeling very confident that, no, I'm not too afraid of actually getting the virus and secondly, no I don't think it's changed my desire for Olympic gold at all.

I know it's changed the timeline and the date for that," the South Africa-born Barber told Reuters in a Thursday (April 23) interview from her home.

Virtually all sport is now on hold, with the Tokyo Olympics postponed to 2021 and athletes around the world still coming to terms with how to structure their preparations.

In normal times, Barber would be on the verge of heading to her training base in Italy, which she uses as a launch pad for travel and competition in Europe during the northern summer.

But now her training base is her garage, with cars moved out and gym equipment moved in.

Her apartment living room has become her yoga and massage studio and the local park her training ground.

When Barber gets access to a proper facility at the Australian Institute of Sport, the normally bustling athletes' hub in Canberra, it's just her and Mike training due to virus-related restrictions.

It has been nearly seven months since she snatched her maiden world title with a clean final-round throw at Doha in October, trumping her previous career triumph, a silver medal at the 2018 Commonwealth Games on Australia's Gold Coast.

The lack of opportunity to compete as a world champion since Doha would be a bitter pill to swallow for any athlete, but it has not lessened Barber's determination to hold steady and bid for the biggest prize at Tokyo next year.

"(We're) trying to find a silver lining in most of our situations at the moment, even though they are different, still trying to enjoy the differences that they can add to our training," said Barber.

The Tokyo Games are now set for July 23-Aug 8, 2021.

(Production: Loren Elliott, James Redmayne)




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