World Champs Men’s Discus — Ståhl Strikes Early

Daniel Ståhl took the lead as the first thrower and only relinquished it for part of one round. (VICTOR SAILER/PHOTO RUN)

NOT ONLY DID Daniel Ståhl earn the title “world champion,” he also owned the event. After a foul on his first throw in the qualifying round he became the only thrower to reach the automatic qualifier, leading the trials at 222-8 (67.88). As the first thrower in the final, he took the lead from the outset, and relinquished it only briefly before reclaiming it for good in round 2. Even so, the 27-year-old Swede’s technique wasn’t at its best. Acknowledging his coach’s comment about his less-than-stellar form, Ståhl said, “I can’t agree more with him, my goal today was try and get the gold medal.”

Ståhl, the runner-up 2 years ago, led off the final with a 218-5 (66.59). Ehsan Hadadi of Iran, the ’12 Olympic silver medalist, followed with a 209-4 (63.80). Ola Stunes Isene of Norway followed with 206-6 (62.95), to bring up Jamaican Fredrick Dacres, 4th in the ’17 Worlds, who moved into 2nd with a 213-2 (64.97). After a foul by Sam Mattis, the sole American in the final, Martin Wierig laid claim on 3rd with a 211-0 (64.31). But the German’s claim was short-lived, as Apostolos Parellis of Cyprus had the next fair throw, his 212-5 (64.76) briefly putting him in the bronze medal slot. Then Austria’s Lukas Weißhaidinger moved into 1st with a 218-11 (66.74) heave. Matthew Denny of Australia opened with a PR 214-8 (65.43), moving to 3rd and dropping Dacres to 4th. Romania’s Alin Firfirica closed out the round with a 209-9 (63.94).

Ståhl opened round 2 with a 220-5 (67.18) to regain the lead, never to trail again. Hadadi duplicated his opening 209-4 and Dacres flung the disc out to 219-7 (66.94), putting him back in 2nd. Mattis reached 207-2 (63.15), good for a momentary 9th, but short of the 8 who would receive three final rounds. Parellis was the next to contend seriously for a medal, as he improved to a Cypriot Record of 217-7 (66.32), moving him to 4th and leaving him 42cm out of 3rd. Weißhaidinger and Parellis fouled, and it was on to round 3. Ståhl hit his winning 221-9 (67.59) to begin the stanza. Mattis improved, but only to 208-1 (63.42), 10th place and out of the final three rounds. Weißhaidinger improved his best by 8cm to 219-3 (66.82), which would suffice for the bronze, only 12cm behind Dacres.

The final three rounds were uneventful, as only Hadadi and Wierig improved. Hadadi reached 208-1 (65.16) in round 5, which moved him up one spot to 7th, while Wierig hit his best of the day in round 6, his 213-2 (64.98) effort leaving him 8th. Ståhl’s last three throws were 215-11 (65.83) a foul, and 215-11 (67.05), the second-best throw of the day.

After his final throw, Ståhl erupted in a joyous celebration, sprinting some 50m to the middle of the throwing sector, then embracing all who would come near the Swedish bear, who scales out at 6-6¾/320 (2.00/145). Eventually, while draped in the yellow & blue Swedish flag, he ran down the backstretch, avoiding the barriers that were in place for the men’s 400H final until he finally cleared one barrier before moving closer to the grandstand to receive the congratulations of well-wishers.

Ebullient afterwards, he proclaimed his passion for life and his sport, saying, “My goal is to have fun and travel around the world and continue my work. I want to stay injury-free and have fun with those guys. I am really proud about this.”

For Dacres and Weisshaidinger it was their first medals in global competition. U.S. throwers Mason Finley, 3rd two years ago, and Brian Williams came up short in the qualifying round, Finlay missing the 12th spot by one place and 9cm with his 207-5 (63.22). But Finlay’s effort only confirmed the depth of the field as his mark became the farthest non-qualifying throw in meet history. Mattis made some history in the final, claiming the farthest 11th-place throw ever.


WC MEN’S DISCUS RESULTS

FINAL

(September 30) (temperature 81F/27C; humidity 73%)

1. Daniel Ståhl (Swe) 221-9 (67.59)

(218-5, 220-5, 221-9, 215-11, f, 219-11) (66.59, 67.18, 67.59, 65.83, f, 67.05);

2. Fedrick Dacres (Jam) 219-7 (66.94)

(213-2, 219-7, 212-2, 208-4, 206-2, f) (64.97, 66.94, 64.67, 63.50, 62.85, f);

3. Lukas Weißhaidinger (Aut) 219-3 (66.82)

(218-11, f, 219-3, f, 209-1, 217-8) (66.74, f, 66.82, f, 63.74, 66.35);

4. Alin Alexandru Firfirica (Rom) 218-0 (66.46)

(209-9, f, 218-0, 213-10, 209-9, 210-6) (63.94, f, 66.46, 65.19, 63.95, 64.16);

5. Apostolos Parellis (Cyp) 217-7 (66.32) NR

(212-5, 217-7, 211-10, f, 212-9, 215-5) (64.76, 66.32, 64.56, f, 64.86, 65.66);

6. Matt Denny (Aus) 214-8 (65.43) PR

(214-8, 206-9, f, 211-3, f, f) (65.43, 63.03, f, 64.38, f, f);

7. Ehsan Hadadi (Irn) 213-9 (65.16)

(209-4, 209-4, 205-1, 210-11, 213-9, 207-9) (63.80, 63.80, 62.51, 64.29, 65.16, 63.32);

8. Martin Wierig (Ger) 213-2 (64.98)

(211-0, f, 205-8, f, f, 213-2) (64.31, f, 62.70, f, f, 64.98);

9. Simon Pettersson (Swe) 209-1 (63.72)

(195-10, 202-9, 209-1) (59.71, 61.81, 63.72);

10. Ola Stunes Isene (Nor) 208-10 (63.67)

(206-6, f, 208-10) (62.95, f, 63.67);

11. Sam Mattis (US) 208-1 (63.42)

(f, 207-2, 208-1) (f, 63.15, 63.42);

12. Andrius Gudžius (Lit) 201-11 (61.55)

(f, 201-11, f) (f, 61.55, f).

(best-ever mark-for-place: 11)

first 3 rounds
* = progression of the leading throw
¶ = athlete’s best of the day
Ståhl 66.59* 67.18* 67.59¶
Dacres 64.97 66.94¶ 64.67
Weißhaidinger 66.74* f 66.82¶
Firfirica 63.94 f 66.46¶
Parellis 64.76 66.32¶ 64.56
Denny 65.43¶ 63.03 f
Hadadi 63.80 63.80 62.51
Wierig 64.31 f 62.70
Pettersson 59.71 61.81 63.72¶
Isene 62.95 f 63.67¶
Mattis f 63.15 63.42¶
Gudžius f 61.55¶ f
rounds 4 & 5
Hadadi 64.29 65.16¶
Wierig f f
Denny 64.38 f
Parellis f 64.86
Firfirica 65.19 63.95
Weißhaidinger f 63.74
Dacres 63.50 62.85
Ståhl 65.83 f
last round
Wierig 64.98¶
Hadadi 63.32
Denny f
Parellis 65.66
Firfirica 64.16
Weißhaidinger 66.35
Dacres f
Ståhl 67.05

QUALIFYING

(September 27; auto-qualifier 214-11/65.50)

Qualifiers: Ståhl 222-8 (67.88), Dacres 214-8 (65.44), Denny 213-6 (65.08), Firfirica 213-5 (65.05), Hadadi 212-9 (64.84), Isene 211-9 (64.54), Parellis 211-7 (64.50), Gudžius 210-5 (64.14), Mattis 209-10 (63.96), Pettersson 208-10 (63.65), Wierig 208-10 (63.65), Weißhaidinger 207-8 (63.31).

Non-qualifiers: Mason Finley (US) 207-5 (63.22), Christoph Harting (Ger) 206-11 (63.08), Traves Smikle (Jam) 206-5 (62.93), David Wrobel (Ger) 204-6 (62.34), Piotr Małachowski (Pol) 204-1 (62.20), Danijel Furtula (MNE) 203-10 (62.12), Martin Kupper (Est) 203-9 (62.10), Mauricio Ortega (Col) 203-2 (61.92), Alex Rose (AmS) 202-9 (61.80), Bartłomiej Stój (Pol) 202-8 (61.79), Robert Urbanek (Pol) 202-8 (61.78), Aleksey Khudyakov (Rus) 201-0 (61.27), Jorge Fernández (Cub) 198-10 (60.60), Chad Wright (Jam) 198-10 (60.60), Brian Williams (US) 198-5 (60.48), János Huszák (Hun) 198-4 (60.45), Philip Milanov (Bel) 197-8 (60.24), Giovanni Faloci (Ita) 196-1 (59.77), Kristjan Čeh (Slo) 195-4 (59.55), Gudni Valur Gudnason (Ice) 176-10 (53.91). ◻︎

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