World Champs Women’s Shot — Once Again The Gong Show

Lijiao Gong had to survive some fifth-round drama in her successful defense. (VICTOR SAILER/PHOTO RUN)

LIJIAO GONG successfully defended her title, securing a WC medal for a sixth successive time with a fourth-round best of 64-1¾ (19.55). But she was almost beaten by Jamaica’s Danniel Thomas-Dodd, whose fifth effort thudded on the 20m (65-7½) tape, only to be ruled out for a foul, and who waited in suspense on her good-looking final throw, before having to accept silver when it came up as 63-10½ (19.47). The 30-year-old Gong, who had won 12 of her 13 previous competitions this year, thus became the fourth to collect back-to-back golds in the event. Her own fifth round effort, which also brushed the 20m line, was also ruled out.

“I am really excited to defend my title,” said Gong, who won Diamond League meetings at Oslo and Stanford before taking the overall title in Zürich. “I have a saying that there is nothing better that you can stick to than your dream. This season was very long and hard, so all my hair turned white! I was just too tired to chase my personal best today. A third title? Yes, for sure I want to defend it again. The atmosphere was amazing at the stadium today—there were many more people.”

The Chinese star had led from her opening throw of 62-6¾ (19.07), although her Jamaican opponent was not far behind with an opener of 62-3 (18.97). Gong edged further ahead with a second-round effort of 63-8¾ (19.42) before achieving her best result of the night in the fourth round.

After Thomas-Dodd’s big fifth-round effort had been ruled out, she spent some time in urgent consultation with the judges, but the ruling stood. She ended the competition with the consolation of becoming the first Jamaican woman to win a WC throws medal. “It’s definitely a big accomplishment for me,” said the 26-year-old who had twice improved her own Jamaican Record this year. She had finished 4th 2 years ago, a placing she now looks back on as a learning experience: “I was disappointed in London but it was my first and I had to take everything in strides and make a mark for myself. I’m very happy with my performance today.”

Bronze went to Christina Schwanitz of Germany, who moved ahead of American Maggie Ewen with a fifth-round effort of 62-10¾ (19.17) to complete her set of WC medals. Ewen finished 4th with a topper of 62-1¼ (18.93). Her compatriot Chase Ealey was 7th with 61-9 (18.82), but reigning Olympic champion Michelle Carter had an unhappy night, finishing 9th with 60-4¾ (18.41) after failing to make the cut for a final three throws.


WC WOMEN’S SHOT RESULTS

FINAL

(October 03) (temperature 79F/26C; humidity 61%)

1. Lijiao Gong (Chn) 64-1¾ (19.55)

(62-6¾, 63-8¾, 63-¼, 64-1¾, f, f) (19.07, 19.42, 19.21, 19.55, f, f);

2. Danniel Thomas-Dodd (Jam) 63-10½ (19.47)

(62-3, 62-5, 63-6¼, 62-6, f, 63-10½) (18.97, 19.02, 19.36, 19.05, f, 19.47);

3. Christina Schwanitz (Ger) 62-10¾ (19.17)

(61-¾, 61-11, 61-3½, 61-3, 62-10¾, 60-6) (18.61, 18.87, 18.68, 18.67, 19.17, 18.44);

4. Maggie Ewen (US) 62-1¼ (18.93)

(59-2¼, 60-7¾, 61-7¾, 62-½, 62-1¼, f) (18.04, 18.48, 18.79, 18.91, 18.93, f);

5. Anita Márton (Hun) 61-10½ (18.86)

(61-6¼, 60-4¾, 60-3¼, 59-11¾, 59-7¾, 61-10½) (18.75, 18.41, 18.37, 18.28, 18.18, 18.86);

6. Aliona Dubitskaya (Blr) 61-10½ (18.86)

(61-2¾, 60-7¾, 61-10½, 60-3, 60-11½, 60-10½) (18.66, 18.48, 18.86, 18.36, 18.58, 18.55);

7. Chase Ealey (US) 61-9 (18.82)

(61-4¼, 59-10½, f, f, 61-9, 61-¾) (18.70, 18.25, f, f, 18.82, 18.61);

8. Brittany Crew (Can) 60-10½ (18.55)

(60-6¾, 59-7¾, f, 60-10½, 60-4½, 57-3½) (18.46, 18.18, f, 18.55, 18.40, 17.46);

9. Michelle Carter (US) 60-4¾ (18.41)

(60-1¼, 60-1, 60-4¾) (18.32, 18.31, 18.41);

10. Paulina Guba (Pol) 59-1½ (18.02)

(59-1½, 58-11½, f) (18.02, 17.97, f);

11. Sophie McKinna (GB) 59-¼ (17.99)

(59-¼, 58-6¾, 58-¼) (17.99, 17.85, 17.68);

12. Dimitriana Surdu (Mol) 57-10½ (17.64)

(57-10½, 57-3, f) (17.64, 17.45, f).

QUALIFYING

(October 02; auto-qualifier 60-4½/18.40)

Qualifiers: Thomas-Dodd 63-4¾ (19.32), Ewen 63-¼ (19.21), Gong 62-2½ (18.96), Carter 61-10¼ (18.85), Surdu 61-4¾ (18.71), McKinna 61-¾ (18.61) PR, Schwanitz 60-9¼ (18.52), Dubitskaya 60-8¾ (18.51), Márton 60-6 (18.44), Ealey 60-2½ (18.35), Crew 60-½ (18.30), Guba 59-2¼ (18.04).

Non-qualifiers: Sara Gambetta (Ger) 59-1¼ (18.01), Fanny Roos (Swe) 59-1¼ (18.01), Klaudia Kardasz (Pol) 58-4½ (17.79), Emel Dereli (Tur) 58-1¼ (17.71), Linru Zhang (Chn) 57-11 (17.65), Alena Pasechnik (Blr) 57-7 (17.55), Portious Warren (Tri) 57-3½ (17.46), Alina Kenzel (Ger) 57-3½ (17.46), Geisa Arcanjo (Bra) 57-3 (17.45), Noora Salem Jassem (Bhr) 56-11½ (17.36), Jiayuan Song (Chn) 56-6¾ (17.24), Sarah Mitton (Can) 56-6¾ (17.24), Maddison-Lee Wesche (NZ) 56-6 (17.22), Oyesade Olatoye (Ngr) 55-8¼ (16.97), Ahymará Espinoza (Ven) 55-5 (16.89). ◻︎

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