China’s Gong Lijiao ended her long wait for a global outdoor title when she won the shot put gold medal at the World Championships on Wednesday, utterly dominating the competition.
The 28-old-year had won five silver and bronze medals at the World Championships and Olympics but a gold had always eluded her until a chilly, wet night at the London Olympic stadium.
Gong made of light of the conditions as she broke 19 metres with five of her six attempts and won with a fifth throw of 19.94 metres.
There were only two other throws over 19 metres – Anita Marton’s final effort of 19.49 which won silver for the Hungarian and American Michelle Carter’s third throw of 19.14 which took bronze.
“It’s a very special moment for me. Of course, the rain affected the competition and that is the reason we didn’t go past 20 metres tonight,” Gong said. ” I am glad to show all the hard work I’ve done in the past with this gold medal.”
Gong first appeared one the scene as an 18-year-old at the 2007 World Championships where she finished seventh.
She won Olympic bronze in Beijing in 2008 and silver in London in 2012 as well as world silver in Beijing two years ago.
Gong was agonisingly close to ending that run in Beijing when she threw 20.30m in the opening round but lost out to Germany’s Christina Schwanitz by seven centimetres.