Gong wins China’s first gold at world athletics

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London, Aug 10 (IANS) Olympic and world silver medalist Gong Lijiao won the first gold medal for China at the ongoing IAAF World Championship after she grabbed the shot put title at the London Stadium here.

On a rainy and chilly night on Wednesday, the 28-year-old Gong took an early lead with her second throw of 19.35 meters and the 19.94m in her fifth attempt put her victory almost beyond doubt, reports Xinhua news agency.

The victory 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.

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.

With bronze and silver medals in the javelin and a silver medal in hammer throw, China showed that they are a force to be reckoned with in throwing events.

The Asian country sent three athletes to compete in the shot put finals and Lijiao Gong was the leader of the qualifying round.

Gong, who has competed in big finals since 2007 is the only one who has surpassed the 20-meter barrier this year, achieving a 20.11 meter.

With the absence of Valerie Adams, four-time champion from New Zealand and German Christina Schwanitz, who was expected to defend her world champion title this year, Gong finally took home her first gold medal.

Carter, Olympic champion in Rio and world champion in indoor athletics, arrived in London after being surpassed in USA’s national championships by Raven Saunders and Danielle Bunch.

–IANS

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