By Christian Radnedge
LONDON (Reuters) – Double Olympic champion Sandra Perkovic eased her way to a second world discus title after being the only athlete to throw over 70 metres at the World Championships on Sunday.
The Croatian, who first won the world title in 2013, threw 70.31 on her second attempt which was enough to triumph in the same stadium in which she won Olympic gold in 2012.
The 27-year-old had the top three throws of 2017 going into the competition, and led from the first attempt in the final to secure her country’s first gold of the championships.
“I really enjoyed this competition like I never did before,” she told reporters. “I am happy to get my world title back.
“My goal today was to throw over 70 metres because that I was sure that would be a medal mark.”
Perkovic’s romp to gold was only seriously threatened on the final attempt by Dani Stevens of Australia.
The 29-year-old was concentrating intensely as she strode into the throwing circle and launched the discus one last time for glory.
It resulted in a personal best 69.64 metres which was enough for silver, her first World Championship medal since she won the title in 2009.
“I am in utopia right now,” Stevens said. “I am so excited. Everything came together at the right moment. I cannot believe it. I did not think that I could throw that far.”
Melina Robert-Michon of France also achieved a lifetime best throw, with 66.21 getting her the bronze medal to go with the Olympic one she was awarded in Rio last year.
There was no joy, however, for 2015 champion Denia Caballero of Cuba, who could only throw 64.37 to finish fifth.
(Editing by Ed Osmond)