World Champs Women’s Discus — A Shock Opener

Bin Feng’s big first-round PR of 226-9 sewed up the discus gold early. (KEVIN MORRIS)

PUTTING HERSELF in contention for surprise of the meet, Bin Feng stunned everyone to win gold with a huge PR on her opening throw of the final.

Conventional wisdom had anticipated Tokyo gold medalist Valarie Allman to duel 2-time past winner Sandra Perković, but that battle turned out to be for the silver.

The favored Allman supplied unintended drama in qualifying, needing all three attempts to get a fair throw, but the AR holder’s comethrough 224-3 (68.36) led all qualifiers.

“The crowd is so engaged,” she explained. “Coming in as Olympic champion, I feel a sense of responsibility to do my part. It’s also nerve-racking and hard. There’s a lot of pressure and intensity.”

On a hot evening, round 1 of the final saw Allman open up with a 221-10 (67.62) for the lead before being immediately passed by Croatian rival Perković at 222-3 (67.74).

Two throwers later Feng — formcharted as No. 5 — unleashed her unexpected bomb, a PR of 226-9 (69.12) that was a lifetime best by more than 10ft (3m). In her only competition this year, she had set her PR of 216-6 (66.00) in April.

Among other potential threats, defending champ Yaimé Pérez of Cuba started with a foul and never got higher than 7th, Germany’s Kristin Pudenz, silver medalist in Tokyo, finished 11th.

In Round 2, Allman didn’t improve but Perković did with a seasonal best 224-7 (68.45). Feng fouled.

Allman improved in Round 3 but remained in 3rd at 224-1 (68.30). Perković fouled but Feng added the second-longest throw of her life at 219-5 (66.89) as the field was trimmed from 12 to 8, with American Lagi Tausaga not making the cut.

With wind conditions becoming less favorable there were no improvements among the medal positions the rest of the way, although Allman added another effort over 220ft at 223-3 (68.05) in Round 4. Two-time NCAA champ Jorinde van Klinken moved up to 4th at 213-2 (64.97) in Round 5.

The final stanza had no improvements for anyone, cementing Feng’s victory — the first for China in this event since Yanfeng Li in ’11. Feng’s previous best in a major was a 5th at Doha ’19.

“I am so excited and I have to say all opponents did a very good job today,” said Feng who admitted to being surprised by her performance. “I did not expect this result coming to Eugene, I just wanted to show my best.

“I am very excited about this result and want to share this excitement with my family and my friends. I am surprised by my gold medal but honestly not with the result. I expected to fight like this for the podium and I was sure it was going to be tough.”

Perković’s silver was her second in this meet to go along with two golds and a bronze (in addition to a pair of Olympic golds).

Allman was disappointed, but her bronze is the first medal of any kind by an American in this event. “I was ready to compete for gold again, but I just could not find that big throw,” she said.


WOMEN’S DISCUS RESULTS

FINAL (July 20)

(temperature 90–86F/32–30C; humidity 36–49%)

1. Bin Feng (Chn) 226-9 (69.12) PR

(226-9, f, 219-5, 216-2, 215-3, 212-0) (69.12, f, 66.89, 65.88, 65.60, 64.62);

2. Sandra Perković (Cro) 224-7 (68.45)

(222-3, 224-7, f, 222-3, 218-5, 215-5) (67.74, 68.45, f, 67.74, 66.59, 65.67);

3. Valarie Allman (US) 224-1 (68.30)

(221-10, 218-1, 224-1, 223-3, f, 168-8) (67.62, 66.47, 68.30, 68.05, f, 51.41);

4. Jorinde van Klinken (Neth) 213-2 (64.97)

(f, 204-9, 210-0, 199-1, 213-2, f) (f, 62.41, 64.00, 60.68, 64.97, f);

5. Claudine Vita (Ger) 210-9 (64.24)

(196-5, 210-9, 203-8, f, 205-4, 202-11) (59.87, 64.24, 62.09, f, 62.60, 61.86);

6. Liliana Cá (Por) 209-11 (63.99)

(174-8, 208-9, f, 209-11, 203-4, f) (53.24, 63.64, f, 63.99, 61.99, f);

7. Yaimé Pérez (Cub) 206-11 (63.07)

(f, 204-7, 201-2, 206-11, 206-6, 204-7) (f, 62.36, 61.32, 63.07, 62.94, 62.36);

8. Marija Tolj (Cro) 206-11 (63.07)

(f, 206-11, 204-6, 202-5, 198-10, 202-10) (f, 63.07, 62.35, 61.70, 60.61, 61.82);

9. Shanice Craft (Ger) 204-6 (62.35)

(200-10, f, 204-6) (61.23, f, 62.35);

10. Mélina Robert-Michon (Fra) 198-0 (60.36)

(175-5, 198-0, 196-9) (53.46, 60.36, 59.98);

11. Kristin Pudenz (Ger) 196-9 (59.97)

(f, 196-9, f) (f, 59.97, f);

12. Lagi Tausaga (US) 185-3 (56.47)

(185-3, 183-6, f) (56.47, 55.93, f).

* = progression of the leading throw; ¶ = athlete’s best of the day
first 3 rounds
Craft 61.23* f 62.35¶
Tausaga 56.47¶ 55.93 f
Robert-Michon 53.46 60.36¶ 59.98
Pérez f 62.36 61.32
Allman 67.62* 66.47 68.30¶
Perković 67.74* 68.45¶ f
Pudenz f 59.97¶ f
Feng 69.12*¶ f 66.89
53.24 63.64 f
Vita 59.87 64.24¶ 62.09
van Klinken f 62.41 64.00
Tolj f 63.07¶ 62.35
rounds 4 & 5
Pérez 63.07¶ 62.94
Tolj 61.70 60.61
63.99¶ 61.99
van Klinken 60.68 64.97¶
Vita f 62.60
Allman 68.05 f
Perković 67.74 66.59
Feng 65.88 65.60
last round
Pérez 62.36
Tolj 61.82
f
Vita 61.86
van Klinken f
Allman 51.41
Perković 65.67
Feng 64.62

QUALIFYING

(July 18, auto-qualifier 210-0/64.00)

Qualifiers: Allman 224-3 (68.36), van Klinken 215-5 (65.66), Pérez 214-4 (65.32), Vita 213-2 (64.98), Craft 211-9 (64.55), Pudenz 211-3 (64.39), Perković 210-8 (64.23), Feng 210-0 (64.01), Tausaga 206-2 (62.85), Tolj 201-8 (61.46), Cá 201-5 (61.41), Robert-Michon 200-10 (61.21);

Non-Qualifiers: Alexandra Emilianov (Mol) 199-0 (60.67), Fernanda Raquel Martins (Bra) 197-1 (60.08), Izabela da Silva (Bra) 196-1 (59.78), Silinda Morales (Cub) 192-8 (58.73), Veronica Fraley (US) 191-4 (58.32), Jade Lally (GB) 190-11 (58.21), Hrisoúla Anagnostopoúlou (Gre) 190-9 (58.15), Andressa de Morais (Bra) 190-7 (58.11), Chioma Onyekwere (Ngr) 189-10 (57.87), Karen Gallardo (Chl) 189-7 (57.78), Irina Rodrigues (Por) 189-3 (57.69), Rachel Dincoff (US) 189-0 (57.62), Ieva Zarankaitė (Lit) 188-10 (57.57), Salla Sipponen (Fin) 187-6 (57.16), Samantha Hall (Jam) 186-11 (56.99), Daisy Osakue (Ita) 186-2 (56.74), Lisa Brix Pedersen (Den) 185-6 (56.54), Trinity Tutti (Can) 178-4 (54.36).