World Champs Women’s Discus — A 1-2 For Cuba

Yaimé Pérez briefly surrendered the lead to teammate Denia Caballero, but prevailed in the end. (KIRBY LEE/IMAGE OF SPORT)

FAMILIAR NAMES dominated as Cuba’s Yaimé Pérez and Denia Caballero waged an epic battle for the women’s discus crown, with Croatia’s Sandra Perković left on the outside looking in. “I think we three are the best in the discus throw,” said bronze medalist Perković. “Denia won the title in 2015, I did it 2017 and Yaimé today. Today Pérez was the best, she threw 69m which is an amazing throw.”

Pérez opened at 223-5 (68.10), while Perković was 2nd after her 218-11 (66.72) first-rounder. Caballero then fouled, but displaced Perković for the silver-medal position by 3 inches (8cm) with her second throw. There things stood until Caballero made it interesting in the fourth. Her 224-6 (68.44) took the lead from Pérez, who answered in the fifth with her gold-medal winning 226-11 (69.17). Both had uneventful final-round throws.

The favored Pérez had been injured days before the competition and revealed, “I thought I would not be able to recover.” She cited her physiotherapist as having saved the day, saying, “My life could not be long enough to thank him for this medal.”

Caballero added silver to an already complete set of global medals. “As my idol Yipsi Moreno [Cuba’s 3-time hammer gold medalist] said, ‘A champion is always a champion.’ I am back after two bad years. I experienced the lowest moment of my career at the Pan-American Games.” There she had missed a medal last summer. “But that was the blow I needed to regain the motivation to get here. I said early in the season that I was reborn as an athlete. This is the first step towards Olympic gold.”

There was, as Perković noted, a substantial gap between the medalists and the finalists in places 4–8, with Perković’s 218-11 (66.72) and Yang Chen’s 4th-place 207-11 (63.38) separated by more than 3m.

A notable 7th was Valarie Allman (US), who, 16 months ago, was 3rd in the NCAA Championships. “When I think back to where we were a year ago… it’s pretty crazy that I finished 3rd just amongst collegians and now to finish 7th in the world is such a big jump in just one year,” she said. “It was super-exciting. I always want a little more, but that was an awesome competition. That battle among the Cubans was epic.” Noting that her PR of 220-3 (67.15) would have placed her 3rd here, she added, “It’s exciting to know that on the right day I can be in the mix.”

Allman has no better role model for the power of persistence than the 28-year-old Pérez, the ’10 World Junior champion, who finally earned her first global Senior medal. “This is my fourth World Championships,” said the newly crowned champion, who finished 4th in ’15 and ’17. “I always arrived in top shape at these championships but always left without medals. It shows that you should never give up. But I persevered and earned my medal.”


WC WOMEN’S DISCUS RESULTS

FINAL

(October 04) (temperature 77–79F/25–26C; humidity 74–61%)

1. Yaimé Pérez (Cub) 226-11 (69.17)

(223-5, 213-3, 215-9, 223-1, 226-11, 211-11) (68.10, 65.01, 65.76, 68.01, 69.17, 64.61);

2. Denia Caballero (Cub) 224-6 (68.44)

(f, 219-2, 220-10, 224-6, f, 215-4) (f, 66.80, 67.32, 68.44, f, 65.64);

3. Sandra Perković (Cro) 218-11 (66.72)

(218-11, 204-5, 217-2, f, f, f) (66.72, 62.30, 66.19, f, f, f);

4. Yang Chen (Chn) 207-11 (63.38)

(195-4, 201-9, 207-11, f, 201-1, f) (59.54, 61.50, 63.38, f, 61.31, f);

5. Bin Feng (Chn) 205-0 (62.48)

(205-0, f, f, 201-1, f, 200-1) (62.48, f, f, 61.31, f, 61.00);

6. Fernanda Raquel Martins (Bra) 204-10 (62.44)

(198-4, 204-10, 200-6, f, f, 204-2) (60.47, 62.44, 61.11, f, f, 62.24);

7. Valarie Allman (US) 202-10 (61.82)

(f, 202-10, 194-10, f, f, f) (f, 61.82, 59.40, f, f, f);

8. Nadine Müller (Ger) 201-11 (61.55)

(f, 196-5, 200-1, 201-11, f, 198-0) (f, 59.88, 60.98, 61.55, f, 60.35);

9. Claudine Vita (Ger) 199-4 (60.77)

(199-4, 194-0, f) (60.77, 59.14, f);

10. Mélina Robert-Michon (Fra) 196-10 (59.99)

(f, 196-10, 189-1) (f, 59.99, 57.64);

11. Kristin Pudenz (Ger) 189-3 (57.69)

(183-6, 189-3, f) (55.94, 57.69, f);

… 3f—Laulauga Tausaga (US).

first 3 rounds
* = progression of the leading mark
¶ = athlete’s best of the day
Feng 62.48*¶ f f
Pérez 68.10* 65.01 65.76
Tausaga f f f
Pudenz 55.94 57.69¶ f
Perković 66.72¶ 62.30 66.19
Allman f 61.82¶ 59.40
Martins 60.47 62.44¶ 61.11
Chen 59.54 61.50 63.38¶
Vita 60.77¶ 59.14 f
Robert-Michon f 59.99¶ 57.64
Caballero f 66.80 67.32
Müller f 59.88 60.98
last 3 rounds
Müller 61.55¶ f 60.35
Allman f f f
Martins f f 62.24
Feng 61.31 f 61.00
Chen f 61.31 f
Perković f f f
Caballero 68.44*¶ f 65.64
Pérez 68.01 69.17*¶ 64.61

QUALIFYING

(October 02)

Qualifiers: Pérez 222-4 (67.78), Caballero 216-1 (65.86), Perković 213-11 (65.20), Robert-Michon 210-0 (64.02), Tausaga 209-9 (63.94) PR, Pudenz 207-10 (63.35), Chen 207-0 (63.10), Müller 206-5 (62.93), Feng 205-1 (62.51), Martins 204-6 (62.33), Vita 204-5 (62.31), Allman 204-2 (62.25).

Non-qualifiers: Chioma Onyekwere (Ngr) 201-4 (61.38) PR, Kelsey Card (US) 201-2 (61.32), Hrisoúla Anagnostopoúlou (Gre) 196-6 (59.91), Shanice Love (Jam) 195-2 (59.50), Eliška Staňková (CzR) 193-6 (58.98), Jorinde van Klinken (Hol) 192-2 (58.58), Shadae Lawrence (Jam) 191-11 (58.51), Daisy Osakue (Ita) 188-9 (57.55), Dragana Tomašević (Ser) 187-5 (57.13), Daria Zabawska (Pol) 187-2 (57.05), Irina Rodrigues (Por) 184-5 (56.21), Vanessa Kamga (Swe) 183-3 (55.87), Nataliya Semenova (Ukr) 179-5 (54.68), Liliana Cá (Por) 178-2 (54.31), Melany Matheus (Cub) 172-4 (52.52), Alexandra Emilianov (Mol) 170-9 (52.05), Nanaka Kori (Jpn) 160-2 (48.82);… 3f—Marija Tolj (Cro). ◻︎

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