Long wait ends for Gong

Sports | AFP 11 Aug 2017

Gong Lijiao made the most of the absence of champion Christina Schwanitz and four-time winner Valerie Adams to win gold in the women's shot put at the World Athletics Championships.

After claiming six major silver or bronze medals since the 2008 Olympics, the 28-year-old Gong managed a best of 19.94 meters for China's first gold medal of the championships.

In difficult conditions under pouring rain at London Stadium, Hungary's Anita Marton claimed silver with 19.49m, while Olympic champion Michelle Carter of the United States took bronze with 19.14m.

It was the first shot put title for China since Huang Zhihong won her second gold in Stuttgart in 1993.

"It is 24 years since China won a shot put medal, so it's a very special moment for me," said Gong, adding she altered her buildup for major events by entering more competitions ahead of these championships.

"My next goal is, of course, the Tokyo Olympics. My memories of London 2012 are mixed because I was third originally, then I was moved to second later. I didn't like the way that happened."

On the track, Norway's Karsten Warholm and Phyllis Francis produced sublime performances to stun the favorites.

Warholm, 21, led from start to finish to win the 400 meters hurdles while American Francis benefited from race leader Shaunae Miller-Uibo's late stumble to snatch the women's 400m crown.

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