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Brittany Crew broke her own Canadian shot put record on Friday when the 25-year-old from Mississauga, Ont., athlete threw 18.61 metres at the Virginia Grand Prix.Matthias Schrader/The Canadian Press

Brittany Crew is picking up where she left off, breaking her own Canadian shot put record on Friday.

The 25-year-old from Mississauga, Ont., threw 18.61 metres at the Virginia Grand Prix, just eight months after last season was derailed by a broken foot.

The throw narrowly topped her previous record of 18.60 set last summer in Madrid.

Crew’s coach Richard Parkinson said the fact that because the thrower is in a heavy training phase, coupled by the cold, damp weather Friday night in Charlottesville, Va., breaking the Canadian record was the “furthest thing from my mind.”

But Crew had recently finished classes at York University and is “stress free,” the coach said.

She threw 18.08 at a meet in Virginia last week, a good sign things were going according to plan.

“We were looking for another 18 metre-plus performance tonight, but I don’t think I had record distance in mind,” Parkinson said. “But she’s Brittany Crew, she’s a competitor, and when she steps into the circle she can make things happen.”

Crew had been making things happen for the past couple of seasons before she suffered a spiral fracture to the fifth metatarsal in her right foot last August, a week before the NACAC championships in Toronto. Crew was off her foot for eight weeks.

Crew has been consistently rewriting the Canadian shot put record, and posted the country’s best finish ever by a female shot putter with her sixth-place result at the 2017 world championships in London.

Her throw on Friday night ranks her fourth in the world this season, and her strong early result sets her up nicely for an important season that includes the world championships in Doha, Qatar in September. Crew will be one of Canada’s top track and field athletes to watch at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Crew won Friday night’s event, while Toronto training partners Sarah Mitton and Trinity Tutti were third and fourth, respectively.

Crew throws again on Day 2 of the Virginia Grand Prix on Saturday night.

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