Birmingham Commonwealth Games: Julia Ratcliffe (Athletics)

  • 01/01/2022

Julia Ratcliffe

Age: 29

Height: 1.69m 

Event: Hammer 

Personal Best: 73.55m (NZ & Oceania record)

Born: July 14, 1993 at Hamilton

Coach: Dave Ratcliffe

Previous Commonwealth Games: Glasgow 2014 (silver), Gold Coast 2018 (gold)

Ratcliffe heads to Birmingham as defending hammer throw champion, after finishing ninth at last year's Tokyo Olympics.

After a successful junior career where she claimed two national senior titles and set a national record in 2012, she moved her base to Princeton University. 

Julia Ratcliffe wins gold at Gold Coast
Julia Ratcliffe wins gold at Gold Coast. Photo credit: Photosport

There, she won the 2014 NCAA hammer throw title - the first track and field title for her school - before winning 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games silver and 2015 World Student Games bronze. 

Ratcliffe shot to fame with a gold medal at the 2018 Commonwealth Games and clinched her Tokyo Olympics selection with an Oceania record throw at the 2021 national championships. Her mammoth throw of 73.55m sealed her spot and handed her sixth national title. 

Her best throw of 72.33m this year ranks her 19th in the world, behind countrywoman Lauren Bruce (73.34m 12th) and Jillian Weir (72.64m 16th) among Commonwealth athletes.

New Zealand fields a strong trio of women's hammer throwers - the only athletics event with three Kiwis - consisting of Ratcliffe, Bruce and Nicole Bradley.