If it is not one Belarussian it is another. Just when the outdoor World champion Nadezhda Ostapchuk decides to have a bad day, has four no-throws and can manage no better than sixth, along comes second-string Natallia Khoroneko to take responsibility and throw a PB 19.84m for gold.
For the 2005 World Student Games champion it was a well-deserved title. She was not expected to do well here after the recent death of her father, but came out and threw further than ever before indoors.
In silver was Germany’s Olympic runner-up, Nadine Kleinert, 19.64, also a PB, followed in bronze by Russia’s double European Cup winner, Olga Ryabinkina on a season’s best 19.24.
Round one saw Kleinert in the lead with 19.26 followed by Khoroneko, 19.00 and Ryabinkina 18.96. Ostapchuk had fouled, but no one could have suspected what was to come as she fouled in round two as well, the shot slithering out of the side of her hand and landing around the 16.50-mark.
Round two was to be the decisive round where the top two went out to their medal winning throws, while in round three Ryabinkina snatched the bronze medal position from Germany’s Petra Lammert by three centimetres.
The medals seemed to hang in the balance as long as Ostapchuk had a throw left, but the best she could manage in the final round was 18.13 and the battle was over. She was not the only one to have a nightmare though. Cuba’s Yumileidi Cumba, the reigning Olympic champion, only managed one valid throw of 18.28 in round one.