Gong Lijiao of China celebrates after winning the Women's Shot Put Final on Day 6 of the 2017 IAAF World Championships at London Stadium in London, Britain, on Aug. 9, 2017. Gong Lijiao claimed the title with 19.94 meters. (Xinhua/Wang Lili)
Olympic and world silver medalist Gong Lijiao became the world shot put champion, at last, after winning two silvers medals and three bronze medals from the global finals.
On the rainy and chilly Wednesday night in London, Gong looked determined, producing one strong shot after another. She took an early lead in her second throw of 19.35 meters and sealed the victory in her fifth attempt with 19.94m.
"I am so excited, so thrilled. I have been dreaming this moment my whole life and now it came true. To tell the truth, I still feel surreal," said the London Olympic runner-up and Beijing worlds silver medalist.
"The second attempt put me in the lead but I was worried someone would make a better throw because 19.35 was really not that convincing," said the 28-year-old. "I knew I had secured the victory after the fifth attempt. I tried to make it past 20m with the sixth attempt but failed."
The victory also brought China the first gold medal at the world championships in London and broke a 24-year-old title drought in this event at the world championships. Huang Zhihong last won the title in 1993 at Stuttgart following her win in Kyoto 1991.
Now China have collected a complete set of colors in medals with a silver and a bronze in the women's javelin and a silver in the women's hammer.
Rio Olympic bronze medalist Anita Marton of Hungary took silver in 19.49 and Olympic champion Michelle Carter of the United States settled for bronze in 19.14.